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Nothing less than 65 migrants have died after they boat they boarded collapsed in the Mediterranean off the coast of Tunisia.

Fellow travelers who survived the accident said the boat left Zuwara in Libya on Thursday and ran into trouble during strong waves.

According to the UN refugee agency, sixteen people were rescued.

The incident is thought to be one of the deadliest shipwrecks involving migrants since the start of the year.

The survivors were brought to the coast by the Tunisian Navy and are awaiting permission to disembark. One person has been transferred to hospital for medical treatment, the UNHCR says. 

About 164 people have died on the route between Libya and Europe in the first four months of 2019, UNHCR figures show.