Cypriot police: 34 Syrian migrants seek asylum

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cypriot police say 34 Syrian migrants who arrived by boat in the east Mediterranean island nation are seeking asylum.

Police said Monday the migrants, including six children and two women, have been taken to a reception center on the outskirts of the capital, Nicosia.

Police said the boat had set sail from Mersin, Turkey, and landed Sunday in ethnically divided Cyprus’ breakaway north before the migrants crossed over into the internationally recognized south.

Cyprus is seeking help from the European Union to cope with a burgeoning number of asylum-seekers. Cypriot officials say the country of around a million people nearly tops all EU states for the number of asylum applications relative to its population.

Last month, EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos pledged the bloc’s support to Cyprus.

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