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The Tunisian navy rescued 178 migrants and recovered two bodies off its southern coast

The Tunisian Ministry of Defense stated that its navy on Sunday rescued 178 migrants and transported two bodies in three separate operations off the southern coast.

"In the first operation, 102 migrants and two dead bodies were transported on board a tractor belonging to an oil terminal, after their boat sank near Takarmas," the ministry said in a statement.

The statement stated that the migrants were from Egypt, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Syria, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Mali and Ethiopia, and their ages ranged between 15 and 47 years, including 4 women.

The ministry added that in the second operation, 15 migrants, all from Bangladesh, were rescued after the boat in which they were traveling experienced a "water leak near the shoulder area" off the coast of the city of Ben Guerdane, and their ages ranged between 21 and 40 years.

The third operation was also carried out off the coast of Ben Guerdane, and included the rescue of 61 migrants from Egypt, Morocco, Somalia, Eritrea, Bangladesh, Sudan, Mauritania, Ethiopia and Yemen, aged between 17 and 51 years.

All of these migrants set off from the Libyan city of Zuwara with the intention of slipping across the maritime border in the direction of Europe, according to the Defense Ministry.

On Thursday, Tunisia rescued 267 migrants, mostly from Bangladesh, who were trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe from Libya, the International Organization for Migration announced.