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Kerkennah boat sinking: President of the Republic calls for acceleration of investigation to determine responsibilities

Published the:  04/06/2018

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(TAP) – President Beji Caid Essebsi received on Monday at the Carthage Palace Prime Minister Youssef Chahed.

According to a statement of the Presidency of the Republic, the meeting focused on the sinking of a boat off Kerkennah, causing the death and missing of several illegal migrants trying to cross the border and heading for Italy.

The talk was also an occasion to review the efforts made to carry out the search operations of the missing at sea, adds the same source.

The President of the Republic called for the need to ensure the guidance and assistance to the families of victims with the required speed, emphasising the importance of speeding up the investigation to determine responsibilities.

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

The sinking took place in the night from Saturday to Sunday at 5 nautical miles from the island of Kerkennah. According to an initial toll, 48 bodies were recovered by units of the National Guard and members of the Army that were able to save 68 people including 8 foreigners.

The number of victims is expected to increase. According to the testimony of some survivors, nearly 200 people were aboard the boat.