342 Asylum-Seekers Enter Bulgaria in 72 HSociety | October 14, 2013, Monday // 12:16| views
Bulgaria has seen an unprecedented refugee wave over the Syrian conflict, file photo BGNES
A total of 342 asylum-seekers entered Bulgaria once again through its border with Turkey over the past 72 hours, according to the Bulgarian Interior Ministry.
The Bulgarian border police and the national operational headquarters for dealing with the crisis situation caused by the refugee wave reported that these people crossed the border between 6 am Friday and 6 am Monday.
223 of the asylum-seekers were Syrian.
Bulgaria has the capacity to accommodate about 5 000, while over 6 000 refugees have arrived in the country since the beginning of 2013, with local authorities expecting the number to exceed 11 000 by the end of the year.
The total capacity of 3 350 in the shelters under the authority of the Interior Ministry and the State Agency for Refugees has been exceeded by 129 beds.
Over 2 000 refugees are accommodated in the three Sofia shelters – in the districts of Ovcha Kupel, Voenna Rampa and Vrazhdebna. The City Hall announced after an emergency sitting that the capital would no longer accept asylum seekers and would rather focus on improving the conditions in the shelters, which have have been largely described as deplorable.
Meanwhile, a new temporary refugee shelter opened over the weekend in the southern Bulgarian town of Harmanli after the capacity in all other shelters was exceeded by 400 beds
Bulgaria is the gateway to the European Union for refugees fleeing Syria via Turkey, many crossing the border illegally to seek asylum.
The country has asked for EU aid in order to deal with the ongoing refugee influx.