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Vatican deplores Mediterranean migrant deaths

20 giugno 2017 | 19.01
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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The Vatican's newspaper has condemned the deaths of 2,000 migrants in the Mediterranean this year reported by the International Organisation for Migration on Tuesday.

"Two thousand deaths that demand justice," said the Osservatore Romano.

It quoted Italian president Sergio Mattarella's address to mark World Refugee Day on Tuesday.

"World Refugee Day affords the opportunity to reflect on the human drama of thousands of men, women and children who are forced to flee from wars and grave crises," the daily cited Mattarella as saying.

"Our thoughts and attention must turn above all to the many, many people who reach our shores each day."

A total of 69,382 migrants and refugees reached Italy by boat from North Africa this year through 18 June - 85 percent of the total arrivals to Europe by sea over the period - the IOM said.

A total 1,985 people perished on the journey, of whom 1,889 died on the treacherous Central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy, according to IOM (the United Nations migration agency).

The death toll does not include at least 320 people missing presumed drowned in several shipwrecks last week as the summer surge in migrant crossings continues.

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