Tuesday 27 September 2016

Migrant arrivals in Europe set to hit one million mark

Published 18/12/2015 | 11:31

A migrant carries his belongings as he leaves the Tae Kwon Do stadium at the southern suburb of Faliro in Athens, Greece, December 16, 2015. Reuters/Alkis Konstantinidis
A migrant carries his belongings as he leaves the Tae Kwon Do stadium at the southern suburb of Faliro in Athens, Greece, December 16, 2015. Reuters/Alkis Konstantinidis

Refugee and migrant arrivals by sea and land into Europe this year are expected to top the one million mark next week, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

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The Geneva-based agency said 990,761 people have arrived from Africa or the Middle East, with more than 800,000 crossing from Turkey to Greece alone. More than half of those - about 455,000 - were Syrians.

The IOM estimates the one million mark will be reached by Tuesday, more than four times the total of 240,000 crossings by land and sea into Europe last year.

The agency said daily arrivals continue in the thousands despite "ever colder temperatures and dangerous sea conditions".

The report came as Turkey's state-run news agency said four Iraqi migrants - two of them children - had drowned after a boat taking them to Greece sank off the Turkish coast.

Anadolu Agency said the boat was taking eight Iraqi migrants to the Greek island of Kos when it sank shortly after leaving the Turkish resort of Bodrum.

Turkish coastguards rescued the four other migrants.

Anadolu said authorities detained a Turkish man suspected of organising the journey.

Press Association

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