EU records 70 pct rise in illegal crossings this year, highest since 2016

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The number of irregular crossings into the European Union rose 70 percent in the first nine months of 2022 to its highest level since 2016, the EU’s border agency said Thursday.

The Frontex agency said a total of 228,240 entries were detected, including 106,396 through the Balkans, a 170-percent increase from the same period in 2021.

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“The high number of illegal border crossings can be attributed to repeated crossing attempts by migrants already present in the Western Balkans,” Frontex said in a statement.

The second highest number was for the Central Mediterranean route, where 65,572 entries were detected -- a 42-percent rise from the first nine months of last year.

The main nationalities of the migrants attempting to cross into the EU through the Balkans were Syrian, Afghan and Turkish.

Through the Central Mediterranean, the main nationalities were Tunisian, Egyptian and Bangladeshi, the statement said.

The agency also said the number of migrants detected in the Channel trying to cross into Britain so far in 2022 was 52,700 -- higher than the figure of 52,000 for all of 2021.

“As the winter approaches, the number of attempts might increase before the sea conditions worsen and make the crossing more dangerous,” Frontex said.

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