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Mediterranean migrants death toll nears 1,000

23rd Jun 2018
Mediterranean migrants death toll nears 1,000

By Fatih Erel

 

GENEVA (AA): A total of 960 migrants and refugees have lost their lives at Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of 2018, the UN migration agency said on Friday.

“Mediterranean arrivals at this point in 2018 are running at significantly below half of last year’s total to date, and some 19 percent of 2016’s volume at this same point during that year,” Joel Millman, the agency’s spokesman, said in a news conference.

A total of 40,944 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 171 days of 2018, comparing to 84,675 at this time last year, and over 215,997 at this time in 2016, Millman said.

At least 12 migrants have died over the past four days off the coast of Libya, he said.

“Deaths, too, are much lower than at comparable periods of the past two years. In 2017 IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reported 2,133 deaths through 21 June; at this point in 2016 the figure was 2,911 – or over three times 2018’s estimated total of 960,” Millman said.

[Archive photo: Italian Naval soldiers pull drowned man out of water in the Mediterranean Tripoli off shore on 11 August 2015. Photographer: Pool/Italian Naval Forces/AA]

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