The Latest: New border law cuts migrant numbers in Hungary

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The Latest on Europe's migration crisis (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

Official data shows that Hungary's new border policy has practically eliminated the number of migrants who can file asylum claims in the country and then usually continue their journey west.

The U.N. refugee agency and other rights groups say that the decision to take back to the other side of the border fence migrants and refugees caught by police within eight kilometers (five miles) of the border denies asylum-seekers the opportunity to file their claims.

According to police and government data released Thursday, around 130 migrants a day had been detained by police near the Serbian border over the 10 days before Monday. Most of them were expected to seek asylum in Hungary, be taken to open reception centers and then head further west before their claims were settled.

On Tuesday, however, when the new border policies went into effect, no migrants were detained but 190 were "escorted back" to the no-man's land on the Serbian side of the border fence.


10:45 a.m.

Italian navy officials say they have recovered 217 bodies from the hull of a migrant ship that sank off Libya last year in a tragedy that sparked the EU to beef up Mediterranean rescue operations.

Italian authorities raised the ship from the seabed last week and have been working to remove and identify the bodies ever since. In a statement Thursday, the navy said 52 autopsies had been performed on the 217 bodies pulled out so far.

Some of the 28 survivors of the April 18, 2015 wreck had said as many as 700-800 people were aboard, leading officials to label it one of the worst known tragedies of the Mediterranean migrant crisis.

Around 200 bodies were initially recovered; after officials saw the ship's dimensions, they suggested about 300 remained.