German Chancellor Angela Merkel leads the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin on Jan. 11, 2017. / AFP / Odd ANDERSEN
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Germany said Wednesday that migrant arrivals dropped by two-thirds in 2016 from the previous year's record high, providing relief for Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of this year's elections.Last year that figure dropped back sharply, to 280,000 arrivals the government said, largely due to the closure of the Balkan overland route and a fragile EU-Turkey deal to limit the mass influx.The suspect – Tunisian Anis Amri, who was later shot dead by Italian police – came to Europe years ago on a refugee boat, and managed to evade German authorities by using at least 14 different identities, officials later admitted.In one case early on Wednesday, police detained two Pakistani nationals – one near the German the city of Erfurt, the other in the Italian port of Ancona – for alleged human trafficking, German prosecutors said.
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