EU migrant numbers down in September

EU migrant numbers down in September

The European Union’s border control agency says that 170,000 migrants were detected entering the bloc in September, down from a record high of 190,000 in August.

The Warsaw-based agency also said that the total number of migrants entering the EU from January to September stands at 710,000, with the Greek islands, especially Lesbos, hardest hit by the influx of people.

That compares to 282,000 recorded in all of 2014. Frontex said Syrian refugees make up the largest group of people arriving in Europe by that route.

The organisation also noted that the number of migrants arriving in Italy by boat from Libya has fallen due to a shortage of boats in Libya and worsening weather.

Frontex said the numbers arriving in Italy fell by half in September to 12,000.

Meanwhile, the international Organisation for Migration estimates that more than 3,000 people have now died while trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe this year.

Spokesman Joel Millman of the Geneva-based inter-governmental agency says 3,103 people have died in 2015 during the crossing – more than 100 of which have only been recorded now because of internal “housekeeping” of the statistics in recent days.

IOM says more than 593,000 people have crossed this year – of which 453,000 travelled from Turkey to Greece, which has faced a massive influx of people from Syria.

Nearly 90% of the deaths this year were on the high Mediterranean, mainly between Libya and Italy.

The IOM says that those arriving in Italy are much more diverse, with large contingents from at least 16 countries.

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