Over 19,000 boat migrants landed in Europe this year: IOM

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Geneva, March 7 (IANS/AKI) A total of 19,384 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 till March 5, 80 percent of whom arrived in Italy, the International Organisation for Migration said on Tuesday.

While overall arrivals this year have fallen from 138,524 during the same period of 2016, the number of people reaching Italy soared, IOM said.

A total 15,844 migrants and refugees landed in Italy till March 5, it said, citing Interior Ministry data. This figure compared with 9,101 arrivals during the same period last year, it said.

On March 5 alone, some 1,442 migrants were brought ashore by Italian coastguard and two charity vessels, IOM reported.

The number of deaths also climbed to 521 till March 5 compared to 471 in the same period of 2016, IOM reported.

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