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Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR /ds

France received 79,130 asylum applications last year, a spokeswoman for the refugee protection office confirmed Tuesday, marking a 22-per-cent increase over 2014.

While the number marks a significant hike, it is far below the 476,649 asylum applications received in neighbouring Germany last year.

Both countries have struggled to come up with a plan to handle a burgeoning number of migrants and asylum seekers, many fleeing war in Syria.

In an interview with French news agency AFP, French refugee office director Pascal Brice provided the figures - later confirmed to dpa by a spokeswoman - and said that people from Sudan and Syria were the most frequent applicants.

Brice added that asylum had been granted to 31.5 per cent of applicants in 2015, compared to 28 per cent in 2014. Most grants of asylum were for people from Syria, he said.

France has agreed to take in 19,713 refugees from a group of 160,000 people after EU countries agreed to share out responsibility for taking them under relocation scheme.

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