Thousands of Afghans, Pakistanis seek EU asylum
Brussels: Nearly 30,000 Afghans and 15,000 Pakistanis applied for asylum in the European Union (EU) in 2011, the EU's statistical office said.
A total of 301,000 people had applied for EU asylum, of whom 90 percent were new applicants and about 10 percent were repeat applicants, the Eurostat said on Friday.
The main countries of citizenship of these applicants were Afghanistan (28,000), Russia (18,200), Pakistan (15,700), Iraq (15,200 ) and Serbia (13,900), EuAsiaNews reported.
The highest number of applicants was registered in France (56,300 applicants), followed by Germany (53,300) and Italy (34,100). Britain received 26,400 applications.
Thousands of people have been displaced in Pakistan and Afghanistan plagued by insurgency and terrorism that has threatened peace and stability in the region.
Hundreds of people have also died in the war on terror launched by the respective governments with help from their western allies.