Germany's interior ministry says 55,259 asylum applications — mostly by Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis — were filed in the country in May.

The figure represents an increase of 113 percent compared with the same month in 2015.

The high number is partly due to the lag between migrants' arriving in Germany and formally applying for asylum.

Last year German authorities registered almost 1.1 million arrivals of people who claimed to be fleeing war or persecution.

Toward the end of 2015 hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers were arriving monthly.

The number of new arrivals has decreased in recent months due to the closure of borders in southeastern Europe and Turkey.

The interior ministry said Tuesday that 16,281 asylum seekers entered the country in May.