Rome, March 31 (IANS/AKI) A total 27,850 migrants and refugees landed in Europe in the first 89 days of this year, of whom 23,125 reached Italy, the UN migration agency International Organisation for Migration said on Friday.
Although the overall arrivals were a fraction of those in the same period of 2016 (165,697), 7,000 more people reached Italy by sea, the IOM figures showed.
The number of people who died on the perilous route from North Africa to Italy also climbed - to 595 from 346 last year - although overall there were 85 fewer deaths in the Mediterranean, according to the IOM.
As recently as on Thursday, one migrant's body was recovered and five were missing after a German ship rescued 141 people from a rubber dinghy off Libya that had begun to take on water and was sinking slowly, IOM reported.
Over 1,000 people landed in Italy on Thursday, arrivals that were not included in the data for this year up to 29 March, IOM said.