A key migration watcher says more than 110,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean to Greece and Italy this year – about four months faster than that milestone was reached in a record-setting 2015.
The International Organization for Migration says more than 102,500 people crossed into Greece and more than 7,500 to Italy through Monday. IOM figures show that last year, that number of crossings wasn't reached before June. By year-end, more than 1 million people had crossed.
Nearly half of those arriving in Greece this year were Syrians, and one-quarter were Afghans.
Separately Tuesday, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said a study found 94 percent of Syrians and 71 percent of Afghans who arrived in Greece in January cited conflict and violence at home as their main reasons for traveling there. [AP]