Saturday, October 21, 2017 | ePaper

Mediterranean migrant death toll for 2017 tops 1,000

  • Print
AFP :
Around 100 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean according to shipwreck survivors, raising the death toll for the perilous crossing to Italy to over 1,000 victims in 2017, the UN's refugee agency said Friday.
"This latest tragedy pushes the number of people dead or missing in the central Mediterranean to 1,073 so far this year," the UNHCR told AFP. Among the 8,000 or so migrants plucked from flimsy dinghies over Easter weekend were survivors who told the agency about 100 of their fellow passengers had been claimed by the waves. At this point last year, 853 people had lost their lives or were feared drowned.
Overstretched migrant aid groups describing "unprecedented mass rescues" of people fleeing horrors in conflict-torn Libya over Easter had warned more people risked drowning without EU action.
Italian tugboat Asso 29 disembarked 1,170 of those rescued in Vibo Valentia in Calabria on Tuesday, including families from Syria, Tunisia, Bangladesh and Sub-Saharan Africa. "Some of those who arrived in Vibo Valentia told us there were around 100 people who died during the crossing," UNHCR's Federico Fossi told AFP, stressing that as always in these situations it was "difficult to get precise details on what had happened".
More than 36,700 people have been pulled to safety and brought to Italy so far this year according to the International Organization for Migration, an increase of nearly 45 percent compared with the same period last year. At least 150 of those lost were children, though the figure is likely to be higher as many underage migrants travel unaccompanied so their deaths often go unreported, UNICEF said Friday.
"It is deeply concerning that vulnerable people, including thousands of children, are risking their lives to reach Europe's shores using this incredibly dangerous route," said Afshan Khan, UNICEF special coordinator for Europe's refugee and migrant crisis. Several days of calm weather off the coast of Libya saw traffickers set dozens of dinghies or boats out to sea together. Italy has hopes of shutting down the route, though a deal signed with Libya in February-fiercely criticised by rescue groups and human rights campaigners-is in doubt after it was suspended in March by Tripoli's Court of Appeal. Interior Minister Marco Minniti said Friday Rome would supply Libya with 10 coastguard boats by the end of June in its bid to make the Libyan coastguard "the most powerful unit in northern Africa". But critics have scoffed at the idea of making any deal with Libya and questioned the legality of returning those picked up at sea to a country where migrants are kept in detention centres and report cases of torture, rape and slavery.

More News For this Category

Incessant rains batter normal life in city and elsewhere in the country beginning from Thursday night that continued till writing this caption on Friday night. This photo was taken from Motijheel area.

Incessant rains batter normal life in city and elsewhere in the country beginning from Thursday night that continued till writing this caption on Friday night. This photo was taken from Motijheel area.

.

Man killed in city road accident

UNB, Dhaka :A man was killed in a road accident at Tikatuli in the city on Thursday night.Witness Mostafizur Rahman Shuvo said a Jurain-bound bus of 'Rangdhanu Paribahan' knocked

Respiratory tract infection, diarrhoea: icddr'b

UNB, Dhaka :The people exposed to arsenic in Bangladesh may be at higher risk of childhood respiratory tract infection and diarrhoea, says a new study of icddr,b.The recent systematic

6-year-old girl raped in Savar

bdnews24.com :A six-year-old child has been raped in Savar.She has not been able to identify the attacker, said Savar Model Police Station OC Mohsinul Qadir on Friday.The child had

Putin keeps mum on re-election bid

Reuters, Moscow :President Vladimir Putin launched one of his most stinging critiques of US foreign policy on Thursday, listing what he called some of the biggest betrayals in US-Russia

EC gets 531 proposals in talks with parties

bdnews24.com :The Election Commission has received a total of 531 proposals from 40 political parties in the dialogue on the next general elections.The division among the parties over the

N Korea close to nuke that could hit US

AFP | Washington :The United States should assume Kim Jong-Un's regime is "on the cusp" of getting a nuclear missile capable of striking US targets and work to prevent

Sharif indicted in 3rd graft case

PTI | Islamabad :Pakistan's ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif was on Friday indicted by an anti-graft court in a third corruption case related to Flagship Investments and other offshore

340,000 Rohingya children’s future bleak

UNB, Dhaka :At an age when they were supposed to lead a protected life under family care, thousands of Rohingya children have caught up at impoverished camps in Bangladesh

Spain plans to force Catalonia into Jan elections

MADRID (Reuters) :The Spanish government has secured opposition support to dissolve Catalonia's parliament and hold new elections there in January in an effort to defuse the regional government's push