Migrant arrivals in Europe surpass 120,000 in 2016

Geneva, Feb 26 (IANS) Some 120,065 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe by sea since the beginning of this year, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said on Friday.

Most of these arrivals, or 111,099, have been reported in Greece, with the remaining 8,966 in Italy, Xinhua news agency reported.

These numbers represent a sharp increase from the same period in 2015, when 11,834 people reached European shores in the first two months of the year.

With the number of arrivals continuing to rise, IOM figures reveal that 418 people have died while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.

Most fatalities, or 321 deaths, occurred on the eastern Mediterranean passage separating Turkey and Greece.

The remaining 97 deaths were recorded on the central Mediterranean route linking North Africa with Italy.

Over one million migrants reached Europe last year, with 853,650, via Greek islands.

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