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The Mediterranean, the migrants’ tomb

Translated Saturday 4 October 2014, by Katie Gibson

It’s a record high. According to figures published yesterday by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), over 3,000 migrants (3,072) died in the Mediterranean this year while attempting to reach European shores. That’s twice as many as the peak observed in 2011, the year of the Arab spring, with 1,500 deaths. Three quarters of irregular migrant deaths registered in 2014 took place in the Mediterranean sea (4,077). According to statistics from the IOM, the majority of those shipwrecked come from Africa and the Middle East. "One year ago, the world watched in horror when 360 migrants lost their lives in the attempt to swim to the shores of the Italian island of Lampedusa. Regrettably, the horror seems endless: up to 500 migrants met their death at sea off Malta just a few weeks before this report was published" stated the IOM’s Director General, William Lacy Swing, yesterday. "Over 112,000 arrivals by sea of irregular migrants [were] reported by the Italian authorities in just the first eight months of the year, almost three times as many as in the entire year of 2013", explained the IOM document. One of the largest groups came from Syria.

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