At least four irregular migrants died and 10 others went missing after their boat sank off the eastern coast of Tunisia, Tunisia's official TAP news agency reported Thursday.
Search and rescue efforts were launched after the boat sank off the coast of Sfax city, said TAP, citing a statement by the Defense Ministry.
Coastguard teams rescued 44 irregular migrants on the overcrowded boat and found the bodies of four others. A search is underway for the missing migrants.
The statement said that all of the irregular migrants were Tunisian.
The migrants were reportedly trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Italy.
Tunisian authorities stop illegal migration attempts and arrest hundreds of irregular migrants on almost a daily basis.
For years, Maghreb countries such as Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Mauritania and Morocco have witnessed attempts by migrants mainly from sub-Saharan Africa to reach Europe, hoping for a better life. While some of the migrants manage to reach their destination, others often die during the journey.