Tunisia foiled 17 illegal immigration attempts to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Italy, said the Tunisian National Guard on Thursday.
“Tunisia’s maritime guard thwarted these illegal immigration attempts off the country’s central coast,” it said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.
The guard units also rescued 470 immigrants of sub-Saharan African nationalities from sinking boats, said the statement.
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 heading to Italy has been on the rise.