PARIS: More Afghans than Syrians have fled to the European Union so far this year, official data shows, making them the largest nationality seeking protection from violence in Afghanistan.

Since the beginning of the year, nearly 17,000 Afghans have crossed the Aegean sea to reach EU shores, the latest data from the EU border agency Frontex show.

Afghanistan was ranked the most dangerous country in the world in 2019. The growing risks to people’s lives and a failing economy is forcing people to flee for their lives.

In 2018 about 12,000 Afghans were recorded to have entered the EU borders to see protection.