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Over 10,000 people died trying to cross Mediterranean Sea since 2014

Around 207,000 people have completed the journey this year.

This handout picture released by the Italian Navy shows a rescue operation of migrants and refugees at sea, off the coast of Sicily, on 16 March 2016. Picture: Marina Militare/AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The UN Refugee Agency(UNHCR) says over 10,085 people have died since 2014 in an attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

The organisation has revealed new data with a record of 2,814 deaths, including missing people, in this year alone.

On Tuesday, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) raised fears over a report of some 320 migrants and refugees who drowned off the Greek island of Crete last week as the deadliest toll on record so far in the Mediterranean keeps climbing.

The Greek coastguard said on Saturday that the migrants who survived had told authorities their boat set sail from Egypt with about 350 people. On Friday, Greek authorities said 340 people were rescued after their boat sank and nine bodies had been recovered about 75 nautical miles off southern Crete.

But survivors taken to the port of Augusta, Italy, who were interviewed by IOM staff, reported that the vessel was carrying nearly twice the presumed number of passengers.

"We learned from survivors in Augusta, that nearly 650 men, women and children were on that boat. We heard both numbers from different survivors who explained that the smugglers made a count twice a day before the departure. We now fear some 320 migrants and refugees remain missing based on testimony received from survivors," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a briefing.

Millman added at least 10 bodies had been found.

"The exact number of survivors was not clear but appeared to be over 300."

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Additional reporting by Reuters