Over 700 migrants drown in multiple shipwrecks in the Mediterranean: UN

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Land ahoy! Another group of refugees reaches the Mediterranean shores of Europe
File Photo

As desperate refugees fleeing from Libya try to reach Europe’s shores, three boats have capsized in the Mediterranean sea during the last week drowning 700 people, in three separate incidents. This is one of the deadliest accidents in the Mediterranean since the migrant crisis began. The news was announced by the United Nations refugee agency on Sunday. Harrowing accounts of survivors have revealed that there are dozens of children and infants among the drowned.

Last year, more than 3,700 migrants attempting to escape their lands were drowned. The death toll has already crossed 2,000 this year.

Senior Communications Officer of UNHCR, William Spindler, said, “Unfortunately there have been a number of incidents where people have lost their lives and in three separate shipwrecks, we estimate that 700 people might have died or are still missing and unaccounted for.” All three boats were attempting to cross from North Africa to the southern shores of Italy.

Calmer and warmer weather and sea conditions have increased the migrants’ attempts to cross the Mediterranean. Smugglers are profitting from the current crisis by sending boats overloaded with refugees that ultimately capsize in the sea. There have been attempts for a crackdown but the situation is getting worse by the day as violence in Libya grows. Migrant boats keep sinking and people go missing without a trace, claim many humanitarian organizations.