About 200 migrants drown in tragic trip to Europe
AT least 199 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean since the beginning of the year during attempts to cross to Europe by boat.
This is the worst toll in six months. The nastiest remains June 2017 when 547 migrants or refugees lost their lives on the journey that starts from Libya.
Three migrants, among them two infants, drowned last week.
Among other deaths, in the Western Mediterranean, two Algerian nationals lost their lives last Tuesday.
Seventeen survivors were rescued from the same boat.
In the Central Mediterranean, authorities reported three deaths off the coast of Libya also on Tuesday.
Last Thursday, the bodies of a baby and a young man were found on an overloaded wooden boat during a rescue operation.
The International Office of Migration (IOM), the United Nations migration agency, disclosed the figures highlighting the escalating problem of migrants seeking opportunities in Europe despite the dangerous journey by boat.
IOM Italy’s Flavio Di Giacomo said some 1 671 migrants have been rescued in the waters between Libya and Italy last Tuesday and Wednesday.
Overall, this year alone some 1 093 migrants have arrived in Italy through Libya. This is less than half the total of 2 393 arriving by this time last year.
“Libya-to-Italy voyages have shown a marked decline, although fatalities on the Mediterranean’s route remain high,” Di Giacomo said. – CAJ News