No fewer than 17 African migrants drowned in a shipwreck off Tunis as they tried to cross the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy. 

According to a Reuters report, two Nigerian women were, however, rescued in waters off the southern town of Zarzis by the Tunisian coastguard.

As stated by the report, the Tunisian Red Crescent said the ship started on Sunday from Zawyia in Libya with 19 migrants on board.

A month ago, at least 40 migrants drowned off Tunisia's port of Sfax south of Tunis. 

The United Nations said at least 300 people have perished in the central Mediterranean crossing this year while trying to get to Europe.

The United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees, UNHCR said fewer than 23,500 people have made it across the sea to Europe this year, with most new arrivals landing in Italy and Spain from Tunisia and Algeria.

The agency estimates 633 people have died or gone missing on their way this year.

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