By Fatih Erel
GENEVA (AA) - At least 880 refugees died trying to cross the Mediterranean last week, and 2016 has been a deadly year for refugees, as 2,510 lives have been lost while trying to reach Europe, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said Tuesday.
"A series of shipwrecks and capsizings last week on the Mediterranean now appears to have claimed at least 880 lives, according to new information we have received through interviews of survivors in Italy," UNHCR said in a statement on Tuesday, revising the number of casualties upwards from an earlier figure of 700.
According to the UNHCR, 2016 has enacted a deadly toll on refugees crossing the Mediterranean, with 2,510 lives lost so far compared to 1,855 in the same period in 2015 and 57 in the first five months of 2014.
Some 203,981 refugees have arrived in Europe so far this year, and almost three-quarters of these travelled from Turkey to Greece prior to the end of March, around the time Turkey and the EU signed an agreement to stem the tide of refugees, the UNHCR said.