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  1. More than 30 migrants die off Tunisia coast

    BBC World Service

    Officals in Tunisia say that at least 34 African migrants - including babies and children - are missing after their boat capsized off the Tunisian city of Sfax.

    It's the fifth such shipwreck in the past two days.

    A total of 67 people have been reported missing.

    Tunisian officials say there's been a sharp rise in boats carrying would-be migrants towards Italy.

    The coast guard has reportedly also stopped more than 50 boats leaving in the past two days.

  2. Algeria dismantles Syria-Europe migrant smuggling ring

    David Bamford

    BBC World Service News

    Seaside landscape, North Africa, Oran, Algeria on January 13, 2023 in Oran, Algeria
    Image caption: The migrants are said to pass through the Algerian port of Oran for clandestine sea crossings to Europe

    Algerian media say the authorities have dismantled a network involved in smuggling migrants from Syria to Europe.

    Fifteen suspects have reportedly been arrested - nine of them Syrians and six Algerians.

    A five-month investigation is said to have uncovered how the people smugglers transported undocumented migrants from Syria and Lebanon to an airport in eastern Libya.

    From there, they were taken along desert tracks to the Algerian port of Oran for clandestine sea crossings to Europe.

  3. Tunisia IMF deal 'critical' US says - AFP

    The US has said that it is vital that Tunisia reaches a deal with the IMF, the AFP news agency reports, amid warnings of a looming economic collapse in the country.

    "The most critical thing they can do on the economic side is actually get an IMF agreement," said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

    "We would strongly encourage them to do that because the economy risks falling off the deep end," he added.

    The IMF has proposed a $2bn (£1.6bn) loan for Tunisia, but also wants to see reforms in the country.

    Tunisia has a long history of economic hardship, having never recovered from the years of political turmoil that followed the overthrow of President Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali in 2011.