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More Than 1 Million Migrants, Refugees Entered Europe This Year: IOM

The million mark was crossed with just days to go in 2015.
/ Source: Associated Press

More than 1 million migrants and refugees have crossed into Europe this year, the International Organization for Migration said Tuesday, passing a symbolic milestone.

With just days left in 2015, the Geneva-based intergovernmental organization said the million mark was crossed Monday, marking more than a four-fold increase from last year.

IOM said more than 820,000 crossed into Greece from Turkey, including more than 455,000 from Syria and over 186,000 from Afghanistan. Nearly 3,700 others died trying to cross the Mediterranean.

The 162-country intergovernmental agency said the arrival of more than 4,100 people into Greece on Monday put this year's total over 1 million. The figure includes more than 34,000 arrivals by land from Turkey into neighboring Greece and Bulgaria, or only about 3.5 percent of the total this year.

Most of the 2,889 deaths this year came on the Mediterranean between north Africa and Italy, IOM said. Another 706 people are known to have died trying to cross the Aegean between the Turkish coast and a number of nearby Greek islands.

Complete Coverage: Europe's Migrant Crisis

IOM said its figures are pulled together through a combination of people registered and thus counted, as well as estimates given the sheer numbers. The agency compiles figures provided by law enforcement in countries like Italy and Greece, and its own monitors carry out a real-time count on the Greek islands and in Italy.

The migrants' crisis, Europe's worst since World War II, has forced European governments to scramble to cobble together a response, and caused rifts EU member states.