Europe

UN: 880 killed in Mediterranean shipwrecks over last week

  • This undated image made available Monday, May 30, 2016 by the Italian Navy Marina Militare shows migrants being rescued at sea. Survivor accounts have pushed to more than 700 the number of migrants feared dead in Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks over three days in the past week, even as rescue ships saved thousands of others in daring operations. (Italian Navy via AP)

    This undated image made available Monday, May 30, 2016 by the Italian Navy Marina Militare shows migrants being rescued at sea. Survivor accounts have pushed to more than 700 the number of migrants feared dead in Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks over three days in the past week, even as rescue ships saved thousands of others in daring operations. (Italian Navy via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • This undated image made available Monday, May 30, 2016 by the Italian Navy Marina Militare shows migrants being rescued at sea. Survivor accounts have pushed to more than 700 the number of migrants feared dead in Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks over three days in the past week, even as rescue ships saved thousands of others in daring operations. (Italian Navy via AP)

    This undated image made available Monday, May 30, 2016 by the Italian Navy Marina Militare shows migrants being rescued at sea. Survivor accounts have pushed to more than 700 the number of migrants feared dead in Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks over three days in the past week, even as rescue ships saved thousands of others in daring operations. (Italian Navy via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The U.N. refugee agency says survivors' accounts indicate that shipwrecks and capsized boats have claimed at least 880 lives over the last week in the Mediterranean.

UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said Tuesday this year is proving to be "particularly deadly" on the Mediterranean, with some 2,510 lives lost compared to 1,855 in the same span a year ago.

Authorities and international organizations had previously reported some 700 migrants and refugees had perished in Mediterranean shipwrecks over three days last week, the deadliest known tally in over a year.

Spindler reiterated UNHCR's appeal to the European Union to allow for more legal pathways for refugees to reach Europe, and said it was "shameful" that the bloc had resettled fewer than 2,000 people under a plan announced last year to resettle 160,000.