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    Armed Forces of Malta personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant off Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti as surviving migrants watch in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, April 20, 2015

    Mediterranean Migrants Death Toll Could Reach 30,000 by End 2015 – NGO

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    Spokesperson for International Organization for Migration in Geneva said that number of refugees drowning in the Mediterranean Sea while attempting to reach asylum in Europe could reach a record of 30,000 by the end of 2015.

    GENEVA (Sputnik) The number of refugees drowning in the Mediterranean Sea while attempting to reach asylum in Europe could reach a record of 30,000 by the end of 2015, spokesperson for International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Geneva said Tuesday.

    "We estimate the total number of deaths in Mediterranean to be 30 000 by the end of this year, which is 10 times more then in 2014," Joel Millman told journalists.

    He added that the IOM states that 1,727 migrants have died at sea since the beginning of 2015, over 30 times as many as during the equivalent time in 2014.

    An accident Sunday stunned the world when a boat carrying an estimated 800 refugees traveling from Libya to Italy capsized. Only 28 people have been rescued, according to UN.

    The Mediterranean Sea is one of the main routes for migrants fleeing conflicts in Africa and the Middle East for Europe. Syrians and Eritreans make up almost 50 percent of the migrants.

    At least 207,000 refugees crossed the Mediterranean to find asylum in Europe in 2014, according to UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

    Related:

    EU Needs Joint Rescue Mission for Migrants to Prevent New Tragedies
    More Migrants Drown in Mediterranean as EU Officials Meet to Discuss Issue
    Capsized Boat Might Leave Up to 700 Migrants Dead off Libyan Coast
    Tags:
    asylum, International Organization of Migration (IOM), Mediterranean Sea
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