20 bodies retrieved off Tunisian coast

Tunis, March 20 (IANS) Authorities in Tunisia have recovered 20 bodies off the northeastern Nabeul coast, local media reported.

“Security personnel retrieved eight bodies off the coast of Nabeul today, raising the total number of bodies to 20,” Xinhua news agency quoted private radio station Shems FM as saying in a report on Saturday.

“Most of the bodies that were retrieved belong to illegal immigrants with Syrian passports,” it said, adding the rest of the bodies have been transferred to an autopsy agency for the verification of their identities.

Search is still underway for other immigrants, according to the report.

The Tunisian maritime guard discovered 12 bodies of illegal immigrants off the coast of Nabeul on Friday.

Located in the central Mediterranean, Tunisia is one of the most popular points of illegal immigration to Europe.

Although Tunisian authorities have adopted rigorous measures to tackle the problem, the number of illegal immigration attempts from the country to Italy has increased.