More than 3,770 people died in 2015 while trying to make the dangerous trip crossing the Mediterranean sea to reach Europe fleeing from war zone in the Middle East, the International Organization of Migration said Thursday.
This death toll has made 2015 the deadliest year on record for refugees crossing the Mediterranean sea, according to the group. In 2014, at least 3,270 deaths were recorded in the Mediterranean.
Most of the deaths, about 77 percent, occurred in the central region of the Mediterranean along the route used by smugglers operating from Libya.
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The deadliest month was April, the month in which the worst incident on record took place, when more than 800 refugees died when their boat capsized in the central Mediterranean route to Europe. Only 28 people survived from that boat and were brought to Italy.
On a global scale, the IOM estimates that 5,350 refugees and migrants were killed, with the the Mediterranean region being the deadliest place for refugees, followed by Southeast Asia (mostly in the Bay of Bengal, Andaman Sea, Malaysia and Thailand) which saw at least 800 deaths this year.
Meanwhile, at least 330 refugees and migrants deaths were recorded in Mexico and along the US-Mexico border, the group said.
Last week, the United Nations refugee agency said that by Dec. 21 there were more than 1 million refugees arrived in Europe this year alone with more than 800,000 arriving by sea from Turkey to Greece.
The IMO said Thursday that 21 percent of this year’s refugee deaths were in the Mediterranean region between Turkey and Greece. In 2014, deaths were at one percent in that same region.
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