Over 480 migrants died in Med in 2017 - IOM

13,457 seaborne arrivals in Italy

28 February, 18:12

    GENEVA - Some 485 men, women and children have died at sea trying to reach Europe this year, the International Organization for Migration said Tuesday. This compared with 425 in the same period last year. Some 16,775 people arrived by sea in Europe up to February 26, just over 80% in Italy (13,457) and the rest in Greece (2,318) and Spain (1,000). In the first 57 days of last year the total was 124,986. The IOM's Missing Migrants project said 444 people died or disappeared up to February 26 on the route from Libya to Italy, compared to 97 in the same period last year, a rise of some 400%. The crossing between Turkey and Greece, on the other hand, which cost 321 human lives in the first 57 days of 2016, has been virtually wiped out this year and the IOM registered two deaths on it. Italy is hoping that a recent deal with Libya will curb the wave of arrivals across the Mediterranean.

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