Human trafficking from Libya to Europe surging, becoming deadlier

Migrants arrive in the port of Messina after a rescue operation at see on April 18, 2015 in Sicily. A surge of migrants pouring into Europe from across the Mediterranean won't end before chaos in Libya is controlled, Italy's prime minister said yesterday, as the Vatican condemned a deadly clash between Muslim and Christian refugees on one boat. Italian authorities have rescued more than 11,000 migrants making the often deadly voyage from North Africa in the past six days, with hundreds more expected, the coastguard said.  AFP PHOTO / GIOVANNI ISOLINO        (Photo credit should read GIOVANNI ISOLINO/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants arrive in the port of Messina after a rescue operation at see on April 18, 2015 in Sicily. A surge of migrants pouring into Europe from across the Mediterranean won’t end before chaos in Libya is controlled, Italy’s prime minister said yesterday, as the Vatican condemned a deadly clash between Muslim and Christian refugees on one boat. Italian authorities have rescued more than 11,000 migrants making the often deadly voyage from North Africa in the past six days, with hundreds more expected, the coastguard said. AFP PHOTO / GIOVANNI ISOLINO (Photo credit should read GIOVANNI ISOLINO/AFP/Getty Images)

Migrants heading to Italy from Libya in leaky boats and inflatable dinghies have broken an annual arrivals record, Italian authorities said this week, underscoring the rising popularity of an increasingly deadly journey that nowadays aims not for land, but for a frigid mid-sea rescue, The Washington Post said.

The number of boat migrants reaching Italy from North Africa this year surpassed 171,000, topping the previous record of 170,100, set in 2014, the Italian Interior Ministry said Monday, it added.

But 2016 is also the most lethal year for those trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. So far, 4,690 people have died en route, compared with 3,771 deaths for all of last year, according to the U.N. refugee agency.

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