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700 people drowned in shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea

Sep 17, 2014 16:20 IST

700 people on 10 September 2014 drowned in shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea off the Malta Coast.

As per the survivors, the traffickers ordered the migrants to change vessels in the middle of the Mediterranean. The migrants refused which lead to a confrontation that ended when traffickers rammed the ship carrying the migrants. After these the ship sinks.

The vessel had set off on 6 September 2014 from Damiette, Egypt, and sank off Malta's coast on 10 September 2014. The people were on board are Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and Sudanese. They were trying to reach Europe.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported that the death toll reached to almost 3000 in the 2014.

The issue of Migration

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), some 130000 people have arrived in Europe by sea so far, compared with 60000 in 2013.

Italy has received more than 118000, most of them rescued at sea under its naval operation Mare Nostrum.

Half of those arriving in Europe by boat are refugees from Syria and Eritrea.

Migrants are streaming out of North Africa, mostly lawless Libya, in rickety boats in rising numbers for years. Many head for Italy, a gateway to the European Union (EU).

They do not have other very easy options to get anywhere else from Libya. They are not able to get to surrounding countries in North Africa from Libya. These are all factors pushing up the number of people desperate to make the crossing who are preyed on by unscrupulous traffickers.

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