Over 30 pct rise in Mediterranean migrant deaths this year: IOM

Over 30 pct rise in Mediterranean migrant deaths this year: IOM
# 01 June 2016 03:27 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Some 2,443 migrants and refugees have drowned while crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe through May 29 this year, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said Tuesday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

This represents a 34 percent increase from last year's death toll over the same period, when 1,828 individuals lost their lives in the first five months of 2015.

According to IOM, the past eight days have been one of the deadliest periods in the emergency now in its fourth year, with a deadly week of shipwrecks resulting in an estimated 968 fatalities.

"It is worth noting that a week ago... we reported confirmed fatalities were running 24 percent lower than last year's total through all of May," IOM said in a statement.

The bulk of this year's deaths, 2,061, have taken place on the central Mediterranean route linking North Africa with Italy.

A further 376 migrants have perished on the eastern Mediterranean passage separating Turkey andGreece, while 6 people have lost their lives on the Western Mediterranean and West African routes.

According to figures, some 204,311 migrants and refugees have reached European shores by sea this year.

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