1, July 2017
Some 60 people are feared to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea after the dinghy they were on sank off the Libyan coast on Monday. The dinghy set off with 140 to 150 passengers, including women, and started to sink five hours later, media reported on Friday citing testimonies by 80 survivors who were interviewed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
IOM spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo said after the dinghy sank the survivors had been clinging on to bits and pieces until help arrived and transferred them to Italy. The IOM said 95,768 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017.
Many of the asylum seekers arrived in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. More than 80,000 asylum seekers have landed in Italy since January, up 15 percent in the same period in 2016.
The latest fatalities increased the death toll of people dying attempting the crossing or missing, feared drowned, to more than 2,160 since the beginning of 2017. Many analysts see Western policies as the cause of increased human trafficking.