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News ID: 71095 |
Publish Date: 15:35 - 24 December 2016

Mediterranean death toll is record 5,000 migrants

A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday.

Mediterranean death toll is record 5,000 migrants
According to MANA, Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said.

UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said the "alarming increase" in deaths this year appeared to be related to bad weather, the declining quality of vessels used by smugglers, and their tactics to avoid detection.
"These (reasons also) include sending large numbers of embarkations simultaneously, which makes the work of rescuers more difficult," he said
IOM figures show 358,403 migrants and refugees had entered Europe by sea in 2016 up to and including Dec. 21, arriving mostly in Greece and Italy.
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