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2,500 refugees drowned on their way to Europe in 2016 says UNHCR


United Nations High Commission for Refugees has revealed latest stats of the migrants who lost their lives while trying to get to Europe. The United Nations agency stated that 2,500 migrants have perished up till now in this year since January. At least 880 people died in one week of May 2016 as several boats capsized in the Mediterranean.

Migrants perish while trying to enter Europe

UNHCR has released latest figures which portray an increase of 25 percent compared to similar five-months of last year- stating 1,855 migrants drowned. Back in 2014, in the same period, 57 migrants died, trying to get into Europe.

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“Thus far 2016 is proving to be particularly deadly. This highlights the importance of rescue operations as part of the response to the movement of refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean, and the need for real, safer alternatives for people needing international protection,” UNHCR spokesman, William Spindler said.

“According to some, unconfirmed, accounts, the recent increase in numbers is linked to efforts by smugglers to maximize income before the start of the holy month of Ramadan, in the coming week,” Spindler said.

On the other hand, International Organization for Migration (IOM) stated that the death toll from January till May was 2,443. The organization further disclosed that, majority of the migrants trying to sneak into Italy, came from Nigeria, Gambia, Senegal, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. According to another analysis, analysis by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, during the week of May 23 to May 30, an alarming average of five migrants drowned every hour while trying to enter Europe.