The United Nations said today that the number of Iraqi asylum seekers is up sharply. The AP is reporting that 19,800 Iraqis are seeking asylum in 36 Western countries.
Sweden was the most popular destination for Iraqi asylum seekers, with nearly half of the applications filed this year in industrialized countries — 9,300 people, UNHCR said.
“The large Iraqi community and its strong social network in Sweden might be part of the reasons for the high concentration of Iraqi asylum seekers going to that country,” spokesman Ron Redmond said.
Greece was No. 2 with some 3,500 asylum requests, followed by Spain with 1,500 and Germany with 820. Only 385 Iraqis sought asylum in the United States.