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Tunisia opens port to boat with 40 migrants

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AP Madrid
Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed is allowing 40 migrants who have been kept at sea for two weeks to enter the country "for humanitarian reasons."

Chahed authorised a Tunisian-flagged commercial boat that has been carrying the migrants since July 16 to dock at the southern Tunisian port of Zarzis yesterday.
The migrants reportedly were stranded in the Mediterranean Sea for five days before a Maltese ship picked them up and then transferred them to the commercial boat.
Italy, Malta and France all refused to let the vessel disembark.
Ali Hajji, the captain of the Sarost 5, told the Associated Press today that "everyone... is still waiting for the order to be given for the boat to enter the port."

The Tunisian Red Crescent says it has been providing the migrants, who include two pregnant women, with food and medical assistance.
Spain's maritime rescue service said it has saved 123 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa.
The service said it pulled the migrants from 12 different boats intercepted by rescue craft this morning in the Strait of Gibraltar.
The latest arrivals come after Spain rescued nearly 1,000 people attempting the perilous journey from African to European shores yesterday and the day before.
Spain has received over 20,000 migrants by sea in 2018.
A crackdown by Libyan authorities and Italy's refusal to let rescue boats dock has made it more difficult for migrants to reach Italy.
Human trafficking mafias pack migrants into small craft unfit for open waters. Over 1,500 people have died so far this year trying to cross the Mediterranean.

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First Published: Jul 29 2018 | 8:30 PM IST

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