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UN Says 3,700 Migrants Died Crossing Mediterranean This Year

A migrant holds onto a rope during a rescue operation off Libya's Mediterranean coastline earlier this year. Others have not been so lucky.

The United Nations refugee agency says 3,740 would-be migrants have died in the Mediterranean Sea so far this year, nearly matching last year’s total of 3,771.

UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said on October 25 that the death toll is particularly alarming because nearly three times as many people attempted the crossing last year.

"This is by far the worst we ever have seen in the Mediterranean," Spindler told journalists in Geneva.

In 2015, more than 1 million people attempted the crossing, while the total so far this year is 327,800.

Based on reporting by Reuters