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Friday 28 April 2017

1.2m people sought asylum in EU last year

Around one third - 334,800 - were from war-torn Syria, while 183,000 Afghans and 127,000 Iraqis also sought sanctuary (Marko Drobnjakovic/AP)
Around one third - 334,800 - were from war-torn Syria, while 183,000 Afghans and 127,000 Iraqis also sought sanctuary (Marko Drobnjakovic/AP)

More than 1.2 million people applied for asylum in the European Union last year, the bloc's statistical agency has said.

Eurostat said first-time applications for international protection were slightly down on numbers from 2015.

But the figure is almost double the 562,700 people who applied for asylum for the first time in 2014.

Of those arriving last year, around one third - 334,800 - were from war-torn Syria, while 183,000 Afghans and 127,000 Iraqis also sought sanctuary.

Eurostat said 60% of applications were filed in Germany, followed by Italy with 10%.

Applications dropped markedly in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Hungary.

Around one million files were still being processed at the end of last year, it said.

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