Rome, Nov 28

A

fishing vessel with 573 migrants aboard landed on southern Italy's Lampedusa island after being towed ashore by the Italian Coast Guard.

It is the fourth major landing of migrants on the island this month, reports Xinhua news agency.

Local media reported that the migrants had set off from Libya.

They arrived at a migrant processing center on Lampedusa designed to house around 400 people.

With the latest arrivals, the total number of migrants landing on Italy's shores this year topped 150,000, according to figures from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

With only five weeks left to go this year, the figure is more than in any other complete year since 2016.

As of Monday, the UNHCR said that at least 2,659 people had died or gone missing crossing the Mediterranean route to European countries, around 220 more than in all of last year.

More than 60 per cent of migrants using the Mediterranean route to arrive in the European Union this year have landed in Italy, and 85 per cent of those arriving in Italy landed on the island region of Sicily -- almost all of them on Lampedusa, a small island located between Sicily and Tunisia.

On November 20, more than 800 people landed on Lampedusa in one day.

The following day, a woman and a two-year-old girl died, and at least eight others went missing when two smaller vessels sank off the coast of Lampedusa.

For years, the North African country of Libya was the most popular launching point for migrant boats.

However, after the European Union began supporting Libya to enhance its coastal patrols to prevent vessels from setting off for Europe, Tunisia became the most common departure point for migrants on the deadly Mediterranean route.

UNHCR figures show that through the end of October, 19 per cent of migrant arrivals in Italy were from Syria, slightly more than those from Bangladesh, Tunisia and Egypt, both accounting for over 13 per cent of the total, were the third and fourth most common countries of origin.

573 migrants arrive on Italy's Lampedusa island

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