TUNIS, May 14 (Xinhua) -- The Tunisian Maritime Guard rescued 81 illegal immigrants of different nationalities off the country's southeast coast, the Defense Ministry said Saturday.
"The rescue operation took place off the El Kutf coast in the province of Medenine when a unit of the naval guard managed to rescue the illegal immigrants from a sinking boat sailing to the Italian coasts," said a ministry statement.
"These illegal immigrants aged between 20 and 38, included 38 from Egypt, 32 from Bangladesh, 10 from Sudan, and one from Morocco," it added.
According to the statement, the rescued people said they sailed on Friday night from Libya toward the Italian coast.
The number of attempts of illegal immigration from the Tunisian coasts toward Italy has been increasing despite the strict measures taken by the Tunisian authorities to combat the problem. ■