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More Than 2,000 Migrants Have Died Crossing Mediterranean

More than 2,000 people have died so far this year trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on August 4 that the death toll is 20 percent higher than in the same period in 2014.

"It is unacceptable that in the 21st century people fleeing from conflict, persecutions, misery, and land degradation must endure such terrible experiences...and then die on Europe's doorstep," said IOM Director-General William Lacy Swing.

IOM spokesman Itayi Virri told reporters in Geneva that about 188,000 people had been rescued this year from boats while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

Virri said about 97,000 of the migrants had arrived in Italy and 90,500 landed in Greece.

Most of those who died were on boats travelling from Libya to the Italian island of Sicily.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa