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5 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Over 200 migrants drown in 3 days

Mediterranean migrant
The Guardian
Over 200 migrants drown in 3 days
Child migrant Khingsley Dokowada, 9, from the Central African Republic, rests on the deck of the NGO Proactiva Open Arms boat on Monday. AFP PHOTO

Death toll for 2018 exceeds 1,000, sparking concerns over Italian and Libyan crackdown

More than 200 migrants have drowned at sea in the Mediterranean in the past three days, taking the death toll for the year to more than 1,000 and prompting fears that human traffickers are taking greater risks because of a crackdown imposed by the Italian government and the Libyan coastguard, reports The Guardian.

The UN refugee agency in Tripoli reported on Monday that 276 refugees and migrants were disembarked in the Libyan capital on Monday, including 16 survivors of a boat carrying 130 people, of whom 114 were still missing at sea. Further shipwrecks were found at the weekend.

On Tuesday the Libyan coastguard reported a further seven deaths and a further 123 migrants rescued.

The 1,000 deaths landmark was reached on 1 July. It is the fourth year in succession that more than 1,000 migrants have died trying to reach Europevia the Mediterranean Sea.

Othman Belbeisi, the chief of mission in Libya at the International Organization for Migration (IOM), claimed the “alarming increase” in deaths at sea was out of the ordinary.

“Smugglers are exploiting the desperation of migrants to leave before there are further crackdowns on Mediterranean crossings by Europe,” he said.

Overall the number of migrants reaching Italy by sea is down on last year’s figures, but the proportion of those trying to reach Italy that are drowning is rising, prompting claims that the stricter Italian government policy is to blame.

Figures prepared by Matteo Villa, a research fellow at the Italian thinktank ISPI, show that so far in 2018 only half of those leaving Libyahave made it to Europe, down from 86% last year.

The data shows 44% have been brought back by the Libyan coastguard, compared with 12% last year. A total of 4.5% died or had gone missing, compared with 2.3% last year.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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