Italy Migrant Arrivals About 46,100 So Far in 2016, Stampa Says

  • UNHCR says total arrivals are in line with same period of 2015
  • Over 700 migrants died in three shipwrecks last week

Some 46,100 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to reach Italy so far this year, in line with the total for the same period of 2015, United Nations Refugee Agency spokeswoman Carlotta Sami told the Italian newspaper La Stampa.

Sami said more than 2,000 people had died trying to cross the sea so far this year, including over 700 who perished in three shipwrecks last week alone. She said the situation could worsen, given that rescue services were stretched and that migrants from Libya were increasingly using fishing boats packed with up to 550 people on board.

With summer weather leading to a rise in the number of migrants attempting the crossing, European leaders are still struggling to forge any semblance of unity as governments impose a patchwork of unilateral border controls in an effort to stem the flow.

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