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Number of asylum seekers rising in Czech Republic

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Prague, June 17 (CTK) – A total of 679 foreigners asked for asylum in the first five months of the year, which was 286 more than a year ago, according to the statistical figures of the Czech Interior Ministry passed to CTK Wednesday.

In 2014, asylum was sought by 1,156 people in the Czech Republic.

Ukrainians have accounted for the largest number of asylum seekers. This year, 332 applications from them have been lodged, while the figure stood at 168 a year ago.

They were followed by Cubans, with 95 applicants, while there were only 16 of them last year.

The next places were occupied by Syrians and Vietnamese, who filed 38 applications each. The number of the former rose by eight and of the latter by 17.

Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) and police president Tomas Tuhy discussed the current problem of mass immigration in Europe Wednesday.

Tuhy said in the past weeks, the police had more focused on uncovering illegal migration.

“We have prepared some steps reacting to various scenarios such as a large-scale immigration influx, the detention of a large number of immigrants and the like,” Tuhy said.

Tuhy said due to the illegal migration, the police had adopted some measures in the regions neighbouring with Austria.

The police are checking selected roads and trains.

Milan Majer, director of the foreigner police, said the influx of illegal immigrants had risen 42 percent as against the previous year.

In the first five months, the police detained 2,500 of them. Most of them were from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia, Majer told Czech Television on Monday.

According to the latest data of the Interior Ministry, almost 457,000 foreigners lived in the Czech Republic on April 30.

Over 254,000 of them had permanent residence and the rest temporary stay.

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