Bulgaria investigates asylum cases amid a refugee influx, tries to reduce illegal immigrants

Bulgarian prosecutors have launched a probe into the government's handling of refugee applications.

Monday's decision aims to check whether Bulgaria's laws on asylum are being implemented properly and to weed out possible illegal immigrants.

Bulgaria, the European Union's poorest member country of 7.3 million, has been caught unprepared for a surge in refugees, which is straining its asylum system and igniting xenophobia and intolerance.

Some 9,500 refugees, most of them from war-torn Syria, have entered Bulgaria this year, according to official data. Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev said that number of refugees is well above Bulgaria's annual capacity of 5,000 and that his office aims to cut the number of illegal immigrants.