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Germany Registers 1.1 Million Migrants in 2015

  • VOA News

FILE - Migrants queue on a street to enter the compound outside the Berlin Office of Health and Social Affairs (LAGESO) for their registration process in Berlin, Germany, Dec. 9, 2015.

FILE - Migrants queue on a street to enter the compound outside the Berlin Office of Health and Social Affairs (LAGESO) for their registration process in Berlin, Germany, Dec. 9, 2015.

Germany says nearly 1.1 million people registered as migrants within its borders last year.

In numbers released Wednesday, Germany said 428,468 migrants were part of the flood of people exiting Syria. Syrians, fleeing a violent war at home, were by far the largest single group of nationals among the migrants coming into Germany.

The next two largest nations of origin were also places suffering violence -- Afghanistan, with 154,046 migrants registering in Germany, and Iraq, with 121,662.

Germany said the number of annual arrivals was about five times more than in 2014.

Authorities Tuesday recovered the bodies of at least 36 migrants, including several children, who drowned off Turkey after their boats overturned in rough waters as they tried to reach the Greek island of Lesbos, officials and news reports said.

Twelve other migrants were rescued.

It was not immediately clear how many boats sank in the high seasonal winds, but the Dogan news agency said at least two separate incidents were involved.

The tragedies, the deadliest so far reported in the Aegean in 2016, come as the EU seeks to push Turkey to halt the flow of migrants across its borders in exchange for financial help.

Around 850,000 migrants and refugees crossed into Greece last year, paying smuggling gangs to ferry them over from Turkey in frail boats.

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