Tunis: Tunisian coast guard recovered the bodies of 15 migrants off the coast of Mahdia, the state news agency said on Thursday.
According to a National Guard official speaking to state news outlet Tap, the "decomposing" remains washed ashore on Wednesday and Thursday.
The official said the bodies had spent a considerable amount of time at sea. An autopsy will be performed and quthorities will work to identify the bodies, including the bodies of African migrants, the agency added.
Numerous people have drowned in recent months as more seek to travel from Tunisia and Libya to Italy. In recent years, hundreds of thousands of people have risked their lives to traverse the dangerous Mediterranean.
When a boat capsized off the coast of Tunisia carrying migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Italy in September, at least eight of them perished and another 15 went missing.
At least 20 individuals died when four boats carrying 120 African migrants to Italy collapsed in April off the coast of Sfax.
According to data from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 123,000 migrants entered Italy in 2021 compared to more than 95,000 in 2020.
Since 2014, around 23,000 people have gone missing while taking risky boat crossings from North Africa to Europe, according to one estimate. The situation highlights frustrations over visa restrictions and a deteriorating economic crisis that is limits options of many young people.