(MENAFN- IANS) Tunis, June 1 (IANS) Tunisia has foiled 26 attempts by illegal immigrants to reach the Italian shore by crossing the Mediterranean Sea, National Guard Spokesman Houcemeddine Jbabli said.
Tunisia's maritime guards thwarted these attempts off the country's eastern and central-eastern coasts on Monday and Tuesday, Jbabli said on Wednesday in a statement posted on his Facebook page.
According to the spokesman, 656 illegal immigrants, including 134 Tunisians and 522 people from sub-Saharan African countries, were rescued from sinking boats by the maritime guards during these operations, Xinhua news agency reported.
Located in the central Mediterranean, Tunisia is one of the most popular transit points for illegal immigration to Europe.
The number of undocumented immigrants attempting to reach Italy via Tunisia has been on the rise, despite the strict measures taken by the Tunisian authorities to tackle illegal immigration.
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