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BERLIN (AP) — Official figures show more than 1.8 million people have applied for asylum in Germany in the past five years.
The figures, first reported Friday by German daily Bild, show a sharp rise in asylum requests from 123,581 in 2013 to 723,938 in 2015. This year to date, figure has returned to about 2013 levels.
In a response to a question from opposition Free Democratic Party lawmakers, the government said almost a third of asylum-seekers — about 573,000 — originated from Syria.
The second and third most numerous groups were Afghans and Iraqis, with about 203,000 and 176,000 applicants respectively since 2013.
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Germany’s interior minister, Horst Seehofer, told weekly Der Spiegel that Syrian asylum-seekers convicted of crimes aren’t currently being deported to their home country, as demanded by some German politicians.
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