More than 1 million migrants have entered Europe this year

Refugee and migrant arrivals into Europe this year have surpassed the 1-million mark, international migration watchdogs said Tuesday.

UN refugee agency UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said 972,500 people had entered via the Mediterranean Sea, and a further 34,000 had arrived travelling by land from Turkey.

"One in every two of those crossing the Mediterranean this year - half a million people - were Syrians escaping the war in their country. Afghans accounted for 20 per cent and Iraqis for 7 per cent," UNHCR and IOM said in a joint statement.

The current influx of migrants from North Africa, the Middle East and Asia to the European Union is the biggest since the end of World War II. Last year, there were about 220,000 migrant arrivals by sea, according to UNHCR figures.

Last update: Tue, 22/12/2015 - 12:13

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