The Latest: EU border agency says Mediterranean crossings up

BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on European efforts to deal with the influx of migrants (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

The European Union’s border agency says the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Italy more than doubled last month.

Frontex said in a statement on Monday that almost 9,600 migrants attempted the crossing, one of the most perilous sea voyages for people seeking sanctuary or jobs in Europe.

The figure is more than four times the 2,283 people who set out in March 2015.

Frontex said most of those attempting the trip were from sub-Saharan Africa and there is little evidence that migrants from the Middle East or Asia are changing routes.

The agency says the number of entries into Greece from Turkey slowed significantly in March from February, but at 26,460 people remains three times the number from a year ago


11:30 a.m.

A German Muslim leader drew a parallel between a nationalist party and the Nazis on Monday after a prominent party member said that Islam is incompatible with Germany’s constitution.

Alternative for Germany, or AfD, has seen its support swell on opposition to the migrant influx to Europe. It also has talked tough about Islam, which deputy leader Beatrix von Storch described in a weekend newspaper interview as “a political ideology that is incompatible with the constitution.” She advocated a ban on minarets, muezzins and full veils.

Von Storch’s comments came ahead of a congress April 30 at which the three-year-old AfD plans to debate and approve an official party program.


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