A child plays on a rail track at the Greek-Macedonian border near the village of Idomeni where thousands of migrants and refugees are stranded on March 7, 2016. AFP / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI
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After risking death on the migrant trail and two months in "nightmarish" refugee centers in Germany, Mohammed Asif bought a one-way ticket back to Afghanistan, relinquishing his lifelong dream of asylum in Europe. Afghans are the second-largest migrant group – behind Syrians – arriving in Europe, where authorities are struggling to cope with the continent's worst refugee crisis since World War II. A chartered plane last month brought 135 disillusioned Afghan refugees back from Germany, in what is likely to be the first of many such flights organized by Kabul, Berlin and the International Organization for Migration.Figures show 1.25 million asylum-seekers poured into Europe in 2015 – twice as many as the previous year – fleeing war and poverty in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa.
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