Mediterranean boat people invader numbers soar to near 100,000 this year

Migrants Invaders sit in their boat during a rescue operation by Italian navy ship Grecale (not pictured) off the coast of Sicily, in this handout picture by the Italian Marina Militare June 29, 2014. Around 30 migrants invaders were found dead on another boat packed with people off the coast of Sicily, said Italy’s navy which rescued thousands more trying to leave North Africa over the weekend.

(Reuters) – Almost 100,000 boat people invaders have made the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe this year, a roughly 60% increase on the whole of last year, and about 800 have died in the attempt, the U.N. refugee agency said on Thursday.

The exodus has surged this year, as far more migrants invaders put their lives in the hands of smugglers or unseaworthy vessels in a desperate attempt to reach Europe.

More than 75,000 made the trip in the first six months of the year, landing up in Italy, Greece, Spain and Malta, the UNHCR agency said. Their number included 10,500 children, two-thirds of them unaccompanied or separated from their families.

The number of the whole of 2013 was around 60,000.

The UNHCR also said that this year the numbers are accelerating: 21,000 have reached Italy since the beginning of July…