Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has ordered the tightening of border security after more than 160 mainly Egyptian migrants died when their Europe-bound boat sank in the Mediterranean.

Egyptian newspapers on Sunday quoted presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef as saying that el-Sissi has also ordered that those behind the tragedy be brought to justice.

The boat sank Wednesday off the Egyptian coastal town of Rosetta. At least 162 bodies were later recovered and another 160 migrants rescued.

The EU border agency, Frontex, recently said more than 12,000 migrants arrived in Italy from Egypt between January and September this year, compared to 7,000 in the same period last year.