More than 80 people are still missing after a boat transporting 110 refugees sank off the coast of Libya in the Mediterranean Sea, says a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
"According to testimonies gathered by International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Lampedusa, 84 people were missing" from the boat which sank on Friday, Flavio Di Giacomo, who is the IOM’s Rome spokesman, said in a message posted on Twitter on Saturday.
He said so far 26 people have been rescued.
On April 28, Giacomo said 1,400 refugees had been rescued over the weekend. The IOM spokesman also stated that 237 of the refugees were brought to Lampedusa.
Meanwhile, the IOM’s Greece headquarters reported that 108 arrivals were registered on April 27 in Greece. For 2016, the IOM Athens reports arrivals of 154,661 refugees. The total for the period from January 1, 2015 through April 27, 2016, now stands at 1,008,311.
The IOM says over 183,010 refugees have entered Europe by sea in 2016, arriving in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain, until April 27. The latest number of fatalities from the perilous voyage stands at 1,244.
Rescue attempts in the Mediterranean often have deadly outcomes as the rescuers fail to handle desperate asylum seekers who try to get on board rescue ships that arrive to help them, the IOM says.
UN reaction to refugee crisis
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has slammed European leaders for the “increasingly restrictive” measures imposed on refugees arriving in the continent.
“I am concerned that European countries are now adopting increasingly-restrictive immigration and refugee policies,” Ban said at the Austrian parliament on April 28.
Ban also said he was “alarmed by the growing xenophobia” regarding the refugees in Europe.
“Such policies negatively affect the obligation of member states under international humanitarian law and European law,” Ban said.
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