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Kerkennah shipwreck: creation of crisis support unit for families and survivors

Published the:  04/06/2018

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(TAP) – Prime Minister Youssef Chahed called on Monday to continue the efforts and deploy all the necessary means to carry out the search operations of the missing victims in the sea in shipwreck off Kerkennah.

Dozens of illegal migrants of different African nationalities were on board the boat.

Chairing a meeting in Tunis with attendance of the Defense and Interior Ministers as well as senior security and military executives, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed decided the creation, at the level of the government, of a crisis support unit for the families and the survivors.

He expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, affirming the full solidarity of the government following this national tragedy that made, according to an initial toll, 48 dead. "Tunisians share the feelings of grief and sorrow experienced by relatives of the victims," he said.

Chahed emphasised the need to activate the decisions of the previous cabinet meeting on the pursuit of criminal networks of migrant smugglers in the Mediterranean and to address the shortcomings that led to the accident.

The sinking took place in the night from Saturday to Sunday at 5 nautical miles from the island of Kerkennah. So far, 48 bodies have been recovered by National Guard units and members of the Army who have rescued 68 people including 8 foreigners.

The number of victims is expected to increase insofar as, according to the testimony of some survivors, nearly 200 people were aboard the boat