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12 unidentified migrant bodies found washed up off Tunisia

TUNIS, TUNISIA (AP) – Tunisia’s coast guard has recovered the bodies of 12 unidentified migrants found washed up on the coast on Friday, according to the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights, which closely follows migration.

The group said on Saturday that the migrants drowned in a shipwreck off the Tunisian coast while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to the shores of Italy.

The bodies found on Nabeul Beach in northeastern Tunisia were transported to a regional hospital morgue for DNA testing to determine nationalities and ages.

Since the beginning of the year, several people have drowned off the coast of the North African country, and officials have noted an increase in the number of attempted crossings from North Africa toward the Italian peninsula, one of the main entry points into Europe for migrants.

Last year, nearly 1,300 migrants died or disappeared in the central Mediterranean, according to the International Organization for Migration.