At least four refugees die off of Greek coast

Published November 2nd, 2015 - 05:15 GMT

At least four refugees have lost their lives and six others went missing in a boat sinking tragedy off the Greek island of Farmakonisi, Greece’s coastguard says.

The incident, the latest in a string of refugee boat tragedies off the Greek shore, took place on Monday, the Greek coastguard said, adding that four refugees were also rescued.

On Sunday, eleven refugees, including six children, drowned off the Greek island of Samos after their boat capsized on its route from Turkey to Greece.

Also on Monday, the UN refugee agency said 218,394 refugees crossed the Mediterranean Sea to enter Europe during October.

The spokesman for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said October was a record month for refugee arrivals, which paralleled the entire 2014. According to UN figures, 216,054 Mediterranean arrivals were recorded last year.

The recent UN figures brought to 744,000 the number of people who have taken the boat journeys to reach Europe so far this year. Over 600,000 of the refugees have crossed into Greece with 94 percent of them from world’s top ten refugee-producing countries.

The UNHCR said last week that some 3,440 people have died or gone missing while crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe so far this year.

Europe is facing record refugee arrivals. Officials in the European countries reportedly remain divided over how to deal with refugees.

While a few European leaders support an open-door refugee policy, others are in favor of controlling the EU’s external borders, deporting more people and paying third countries to keep asylum seekers on their soil.

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