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Migrant flood into EU continues

The migrant flood into Europe continues, as a smuggler's boat capsized with 90 people who were aboard now feared dead.

Published: February 5, 2018, 9:47 am

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    The vessel went down off the coast of Libya, with those on board said to be mainly from Pakistan. Owned by smugglers, the boat carrying illegals, was heading towards Italy but instead sank not far from the coast.

    The bodies of 10 victims were reported to have washed up on the shore, eight of them Pakistani and two Libyan.

    The number of Pakistanis seeking to use the route to get to Europe has surged. But the International Organisation for Migration told The Telegraph that: “We’re trying to figure it out.

    “It’s quite a jump in numbers but it is unclear whether it will be a trend that will continue throughout the rest of the year.”

    According to the IOM so far this year 6 624 migrants have arrived in Europe by sea so far this year, with 246 having died excluding the latest incident.

    Europe’s weakness is encouraging many to risk their lives to come illegally and is unfortunately resulting in a huge loss of life.

    In January this year, Spanish soldiers assisted 329 refugees and migrants, mostly from Eritrea and Bangladesh, in collaboration with aid workers of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, after they left Libya trying to reach European soil aboard an overcrowded wooden boat.

    Last year, some 3 100 Pakistanis reached Italy by sea, or number 13 on the list of nationalities entering the EU in this way. This year, however, they are already the third most numerous nationality, with some 240 making the crossing in January.

    Flavio Di Giacomo of the International Organisation for Migration, told The Telegraph that there were many more trying to get into Europe via Turkey, Greece and the Balkan route, and found the borders closed.

    “So they are looking for another way. They can fly from Istanbul to Khartoum and then pay smugglers to take them across the desert by truck.”

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