More immigrants land in Cyprus, police say

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More irregular immigrants arrived in Cyprus causing the authorities of the eastern Mediterranean island to express renewed concern over their growing numbers, state television reported on Sunday.

It said a group of 33 refugees, believed to be Syrians, arrived by boat in the Turkish-controlled northern part of Cyprus and crossed on foot into the government controlled areas a short time later.

They included 25 men, two women and six children. Police said that after being processed at a local police station they were transferred to a migrant reception center near the capital Nicosia.

Authorities once again said they were worried over the increasing influx of refugees which has brought to its limits the capacity of the small EU country to handle their numbers.

Police said that about 250 irregular immigrants arrived in Cyprus by boat from Turkey or Syria up to now this year, but a much larger number arrived through northern Cyprus, bringing their total number up to now close to 4,000.

Earlier, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades had told European Union leaders that his country has reached its limits in tackling the pressure from refugee influx.

Anastasiades said that about 5,775 refugees were expected by the end of this year, an increase of 53 percent over 2017, and he appealed for EU help.

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