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    Refugees and migrants jump off an inflatable raft as they arrive on the Greek island of Lesbos, November 11, 2015

    Almost 3,500 Refugees Died in Mediterranean En Route to Europe in 2015

    © REUTERS / Alkis Konstantinidis
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    Almost 3,500 refugees fleeing violence and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa have died in the Mediterranean Sea in 2015.

    GENEVA (Sputnik) — Almost 3,500 refugees fleeing violence and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa have died in the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of the year, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement on Friday.

    In total, over 812,000 refugees used the sea route to try to reach Europe in 2015, as of November 13, IOM said.

    The European Union is currently struggling to cope with a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people leaving conflict-torn countries for Europe. Over 1.2 million illegal border crossings have been detected by the EU border agency Frontex since the beginning of 2015.


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