Europe sees record number of refugees in October

New numbers from the United Nations indicate a record number of migrants from the Middle East and northern Africa entered Europe last month.

More than 218,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea in October, according to Agence France-Presse. That number is up 26 percent from the nearly 173,000 migrants estimated in September.

"That makes it the highest total for any month to date, and roughly the same as the entire total for 2014," Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, told AFP.

The numbers have increased substantially as more than 1 million people have fled war violence and economic instability in their home countries. Syria's civil war has been a major factor in the flood of people toward Europe, and has also led to renewed criticism of President Obama's so far unsuccessful effort to stabilize that country and beat back the forces of the Islamic State.

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