Five bodies of sub-Saharan migrants have been recovered in a desolate area near the border between Libya and Tunisia, Libya’s interior ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The ministry said the bodies were found during patrols near the border areas with Tunisia between Dahra and Tawilat Al-Rutba.

Dozens of sub-Saharan Africans are stranded near the Libyan border and say that the Tunisian authorities removed them to this border area from the city of Sfax earlier this month.

The Tunisian government then moved them to shelters in two towns, but rights groups said that dozens are still stuck there in very difficult conditions, left thirsty and hungry in an unprecedented heatwave.

Tunisian president Kais Saied in February denounced undocumented sub-Saharan African immigration to his country, saying in comments criticized by rights groups that it was aimed at changing Tunisia’s demographic make-up.

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