157 Asylum-Seekers Enter Bulgaria in 24 HSociety | November 5, 2013, Tuesday // 11:10| views
Bulgarian border police are on high alert over the refugee influx. File photo by www.nsgp.mvr.bg
A total of 157 asylum-seekers have crossed the Bulgarian-Turkish green border over the past 24 hours, according to the Bulgarian Interior Ministry.
The Bulgarian border police reports that 69 of the asylum-seekers were Syrian nationals.
Bulgaria has the capacity to accommodate about 5 000, while close to 9 000 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. Some even forecast 15 000 to 19 000.
The total capacity of 4 100 in the shelters under the authority of the Interior Ministry and the State Agency for Refugees has been exceeded by 1 147 beds.
Bulgaria is the gateway to the European Union for refugees fleeing Syria via Turkey, many crossing the border illegally to seek asylum.
Security at the Bulgarian-Turkish border has been upped by border police from other parts of the country. Additional staff to process documents has been sent as well. The State is also looking for additional suitable buildings to be used as shelters.
The country has asked and will receive EU aid in order to deal with the ongoing refugee influx.
The fence that Bulgarian authorities are building over a section of the Bulgarian-Turkish border will be ready by February next year.
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