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    International Organization for Migration(IOM) stated that at least 620 refugees and migrants died at the Mediterranean Sea this year, compared to 505 over the same period in 2015, showing a 23 percent increase.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — Almost 170,000 people arrived in the European Union via the Mediterranean Sea in January-March 2016, eight times more than during the same period of 2015, the International Organization for Migration said Friday.

    "The 170,000 total is more than eight times the number – 20,700 – recorded through the first three months of 2015, a year when a record one million migrants and refugees crossed the Mediterranean," IOM spokesman Joel Millman wrote in briefing notes.

    He added that at least 620 refugees and migrants died at sea this year, compared to 505 over the same period in 2015, showing a 23 percent increase.

    Europe is facing a growing migration crisis with hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing Syria and other conflict zones, primarily in the Middle East and North Africa.

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    Tags:
    migrant crisis, refugees, International Organization of Migration (IOM), European Union, Mediterranean Sea
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