Over 4,000 migrants and refugees have lost their lives since the start of the year, a figure 26% higher than that of the same period last year, announced Tuesday the International Organization for Migration (IOM).In total, 4,027 migrants perished while trying to cross the Mediterranean and on the roads of North Africa and at the Turkish-Syrian border, stated a communiqué of the agency based in Geneva.
The heaviest toll was registered in the Mediterranean, with a total of 3,120 dead between January 1st and July 31st, according to the IOM.
The most perilous sea route continues to be the crossing to Italy, which claimed the lives of 2,692, far more than the routes to Greece (383 dead) and Spain (45 dead).
The IOM revealed Tuesday its toll of those disappeared in the Mediterranean following the recent discovery of 120 corpses on the beaches of the Libyan city of Sabrata.
Last week, 87 bodies were found washed-up on the coast of this city located 70 km west of Tripoli. Thirty-three additional bodies of migrants were discovered in recent days.
Besides the Mediterranean, North Africa was this year the most dangerous region for candidates to migration, with 342 dead.
The migrants and refugees from Syria also paid dearly for trying to cross Turkey. Since the beginning of the year, 64 Syrian asylum seekers were killed by Turkish border guards, according to the IOM.