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Migrant influx to Greece's Lesbos continues for second day

Reuters , Thursday 24 Sep 2015
A man carries a young boy after they arrived with other migrants on the shores of the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey on an inflatable dinghy, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 (AP)
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About 1,200 migrants and refugees arrived on the Greek island of Lesbos on Thursday in under an hour, in the second day of a sharp rise in arrivals from Turkey.

Twenty-four boats, each carrying about 50 people, arrived from Turkey on one Lesbos beach within 45 minutes and more were on the way, a Reuters photographer on the scene said.

The majority were young Afghan men and some families.

A record number of at least 430,000 refugees and migrants have taken rickety boats across the Mediterranean to Europe this year, 309,000 via Greece, according to International Organization for Migration figures.

On Wednesday, at least 2,500 people, mainly Afghan and Syrian refugees, landed on Lesbos within hours.

Why the numbers rose so quickly over the last two days was unclear, but the Mediterranean will be hit increasingly by storms as autumn progresses towards winter, making the crossing too dangerous for most refugees to attempt it.

Most arrive on the islands of Lesbos and Kos, just a few miles from Turkey, and soon head to mainland Greece from where they continue their journey to northern European countries.

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