IOM: Almost 3,500 Refugees Died in Mediterranean En Route to Europe in 2015

New figures released Friday have revealed that almost 3,500 refugees died crossing the Mediterranean Sea so far this year.

Nearly 550 of these deaths were in the waters between Greece and Turkey, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The IOM said that more than 800,000 refugees had arrived in Europe so far this year.

IOM statistics indicate that the vast majority of 3,499 recorded fatalities – 2,870 – died crossing from North Africa to southern Europe, primarily Italy.

Some 812,230 people reached Europe via the Mediterranean, including 666,502 people landing in Greece and 141,777 in Italy, the IOM said.

The largest national group comes from Syria, which embroiled in a civil war. Having crossed the Mediterranean Sea this year, around 300,000 Syrian refugees arrived in Greece alone.

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