The Latest: Germany saw 820,000 asylum-seekers last year

AP News
Posted: Sep 30, 2016 7:31 AM
The Latest: Germany saw 820,000 asylum-seekers last year

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The Latest on the flow of migrants into Europe (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

Germany says a total of 820,000 asylum-seekers entered the country last year, but that the count this year so far is dramatically down.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Friday that even though the 2015 number is lower than the more-than 1 million initially registered entering the country — some of whom were counted twice or were simply passing through — it's "still very high."

He said that "this number cannot be allowed to be repeated" and said measures to keep the influx down, like an agreement with Turkey, have been effective.

He says this year Germany has counted some 210,000 new arrivals, "which shows the different measures are working."


1:10 p.m.

Border police in southwestern Romania are investigating 15 migrants on suspicion they illegally entered the country from Serbia.

Police on the night patrol spotted a group of 11 people early Friday, walking across a field 300 meters (yards) away from the Serbian border.

A statement said none of the group of eight men, a woman, a 2-year-old and a baby had identity documents. Police said eight were Syrians, and there was one Iraqi, a Sudanese man and a Palestinian. They said they had entered Romania from Serbia and were trying to reach Western Europe. The adults were aged 20 to 30.

Also Friday, border police found a family of four Iraqis near the border with Serbia. They were taken for questioning.

The 15 are being investigated on suspicion of illegal entry to Romania.

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10:50 a.m.

Serbian police say they have arrested two migrants after they fled from detention at Belgrade airport.

Police said Friday that the two Tunisians face charges of illegal border crossing and people-smuggling. They say the men escaped Thursday from temporary detention facilities at the airport.

Police gave no more details, but local media have reported migrants arrived on a plane from Tunisia and were not allowed into Serbia. Reports say they broke through the detention room wall.

Serbia has been a transit country for people from the Middle East, Africa or Asia seeking to reach the European Union. Most of the migrants use land routes to enter Serbia from Bulgaria and Macedonia.

The Balkan country has stepped up border checkups to curb the influx after thousands got stuck here.