The Latest: Turkey reports sharp drop in sea crossings

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The Latest on Europe's response to the influx of refugees (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

A Turkish official says a deal with the European Union to curb illegal migration has led to a "sharp decline in irregular crossings."

Speaking to journalists in Istanbul, the official said Wednesday some 462 migrants of various nationalities had been sent from the Greek islands back to Turkey. In line with the agreement, 508 Syrians who were living in Turkish refugee camps have been relocated to Europe since April 1.

The EU has agreed to receive one Syrian refugee from Turkey for each Syrian that Greece sends to Turkey.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly on the issue.


1:15 p.m.

More than 3,400 migrants died or were recorded as missing as they tried to cross borders around the globe in this year's first five months — over 80 percent of them trying to reach Europe by sea, the International Organization for Migration said Wednesday.

The number is 12 percent above the 2,780 deaths or disappearances recorded during the same period in 2015. Over the whole of last year, the IOM estimated Wednesday that 5,400 migrants died or were reported missing worldwide.