GENEVA – A leading migration group says more than 3,000 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean this year, nearly a 60-percent increase from this time in 2015.
The International Organization for Migration said Friday that the discovery of 39 bodies on Libyan shores this week raises the total, as of Wednesday, to 3,034 migrants and refugees who have died trying the crossing in 2016.
The figure marks the third straight year in which more than 3,000 people have died in such attempts.
IOM says more than a quarter-million migrants and refugees entered Europe, mostly to Greece and Italy, by sea this year. It noted in particular a rising trend of Nigerian women arriving in Italy, pointing to a "sharp increase" since the start of 2015.