GENEVA – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Tuesday reported that its Missing Migrants Project had recorded 4,027 migrant or refugee deaths thus far in 2016, a 26 percent increase on last year’s figures.

The total of 4,027 migrant deaths this year includes those who perished crossing the Mediterranean as well as others who died on the North African route and at the Turkey-Syria border, according to the Geneva-based IOM.

Some 3,120 people have died since January 1 while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. The most deadly route has been the crossing towards Italy, which has cost 2,692 lives, followed by the routes to Greece (383) and Spain (45).


IOM raised its Mediterranean death toll on Tuesday after 33 more bodies were discovered in recent days off the Libyan coastal town of Sabratha.

The new IOM figures brought the number of bodies that have washed up in Sabratha to 120 over the last 10 days.

Neither IOM nor Libya´s coastguard – which first reported the Sabratha deaths – had details on whether the fatalities were caused by a single shipwreck or several accidents.

IOM also cited reports that 64 Syrian asylum seekers had been shot dead by Turkish border guards since the start of the year.