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    Migrants are seen on a capsizing boat before a rescue operation by Italian navy ships Bettica and Bergamini off the coast of Libya in this handout picture released by the Italian Marina Militare on May 25, 2016.

    UNICEF: Some 190 Refugee Kids Drowned on Libya-Italy Sea Route in Three Months

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    The United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF) has registered a record high fatality rate among migrants trying to make their way from Africa to Europe via the Libya-Italy sea route, with thousands of people, including minors having drowned over the past three months.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — A total of 1,354 migrants and refugees, including 190 children, drowned in the Mediterranean Sea between Libya and Italy in the previous three months, UNICEF stated in a press release.

    “A record number of refugee and migrant deaths in the Mediterranean over the past three months, including an estimated 190 children, has prompted an urgent appeal from UNICEF to leaders of European Union member states meeting in Malta,” the release stated on Thursday.

    A record 1,191 refugees drowned in the Libyan-Italy Central Mediterranean Sea route between November 2016 and January 2017, which is 13 times greater than the number of reported deaths along the same route during the same period in 2015-16, the release noted.

    On Wednesday, UNICEF and its partners rescued 754 refugees, which included 148 unaccompanied children, in the Central Mediterranean Sea route.

    The United Nations on Thursday called on Libya to deviate from its policy to automatically detain refugees and develop open reception centers.

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    European Union, migrant, children, death, record, UNICEF, Italy, Libya
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