108 illegal immigrants rescued off SE Tunisia

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Tunisian navy rescued 108 illegal immigrants of different African nationalities off the coast of the southeastern province of Sfax, the Tunisian National Guard said on Sunday.

The National Guard said in a statement posted on its Facebook page that their agents rescued the group of illegal immigrants on Saturday from two sinking boats.

During the rescue operation, a person threatened the agents with a meat cleaver, while another poured four containers of gasoline on the roof of the boat.

Tunisian President Kais Saied described illegal immigration as an “inhumane and abnormal displacement process,” according to a statement the Tunisian Presidency released late Friday.

Saied highlighted the presence of “criminal networks” involved in human trafficking, which utilize Tunisia as a transit point, posing a threat to the Northern African country.

“Tunisia gives asylum to those who seek refuge in it, but it refuses to be a land of transit or a land of settlement,” added the Tunisian leader.

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

Although Tunisian authorities have adopted rigorous measures to tackle the problem, the number of illegal immigrants from Tunisia to Italy has been on the rise.

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