The bodies of 35 migrants were recovered off the coast of Tunisia Sunday, raising the death toll put out earlier by the Defense Ministry.
The ministry said 68 people were rescued overnight after the boat sank in the Mediterranean Sea near Kerkennah island, off Tunisia's eastern coast.
The rescue operation was ongoing, the ministry said in a statement.
"There were around 180 of us on board the boat. which sank because of a leak", a survivor told Tunisia's Mosaique FM radio, describing the boat as nine metres long.
Unemployed Tunisians and other Africans often depart in makeshift boats bound for Sicily.
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The Coast Guard recovered the bodies of nine victims and rescued four others.
The migrants said there had been 14 to 15 people on the vessel, according to the Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu, and the authorities said they were still searching for one other person.
Tunisians and seven foreigners were among the survivors, which included nationals from Ivory Coast, Mali, Morocco, and Cameroon, according to Bouhoula. A 2016 deal between Turkey and the European Union has dramatically reduced the numbers of migrants coming into Greece.
In all, the service says it rescued the 240 people from 11 small boats attempting the perilous crossing from African shores to Spain between Saturday and Sunday.
The International Organization for Migration, the United Nations agency for migration, reported last week that 30,300 migrants and refugees entered Europe via sea in the first 147 days of 2018.