Geneva, 3 Dhulhijjah 1436/17 September 2015 (MINA) – New figures show more than 2,800 refugees have died crossing the Mediterranean Sea so far this year, including 167 in the waters between Greece and Turkey, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Tuesday.
The vast majority – 2,620 – died crossing from north Africa to southern Europe, primarily Italy, the agency said of statistics updated Tuesday, Anadolu Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
The figure is slightly lower than the same period last year, when 2,993 perished.
Nearly 465,000 – more than double last year’s figure – reached Europe via the Mediterranean, including 340,991 people landing in Greece and 121,619 in Italy, the IOM said.
The largest national group was from Syria, where refugees have fled the four-year civil war, with 175,375 Syrians reaching Greece and 6,710 arriving in Italy.
“Over this past weekend and through the first days of this week, an estimated 72 migrants have lost their lives in their attempt to cross into the Greek islands from Turkey,” the IOM said in a statement. (T/P010/R04)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)