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5 dead,33 missing as migrants boat sink off Tunisia

At least five African migrants died and another 33 were missing after four boats sank off the coast of Tunisia on Wednesday as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to Italy, an official of a local rights group said.

The official in the Tunisian Forum for Social and Economic Rights, Romadan Ben Omar, said that coast guard rescued five migrants who had been on board boats that sank off the coast of the southern city of Sfax, and that they were in a bad psychological condition.

A judicial official told Reuters on Thursday that 33 of the migrants were still missing and the Coast Guard had rescued 84 others.

The coastline of Sfax has become a major departure point for people fleeing poverty and conflict in Africa and the Middle East for a shot at a better life in Europe.

Writing by Fany Olumoye; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino