Over 1,400 died in Mediterranean Sea this year: IOM

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ANKARA

Among the 50,872 migrants that crossed the Mediterranean Sea until July 15, 2018, 1,443 had lost their lives while trying to cross into Europe, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday.

In a statement, International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the arrivals are mainly from Tunisia, Eritrea, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Guinea, Pakistan, Iraq, and Algeria.

The number of migrants has shown an 80 percent decrease when compared with the same period last year.

“Migrants arriving at the port told IOM staff that four traveling companions died last Friday. Witnesses said all were on board, although without water or food when they spotted another vessel, still not identified. Driven by despair, about 30 people jumped into the water trying to reach the ship, which was much too far away,” Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM representative in Italy, said in the statement.

“Four drowned, all of the Somali origin, including one 17-year-old boy. These reports were later confirmed by the friends and relatives of the four migrants, who also were on board,” he added, lamenting on recent casualties around the sea.

He said that the central Mediterranean was the deadliest of the region where most migrants drown.

“There is no migration crisis, but a humanitarian emergency (1443 deaths),” he stressed on his Twitter account.

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