More than six million asylum seekers are waiting to cross into Europe, a leaked intelligence report warns.

There has been a huge increase in the number of migrants hoping to reach EU countries, it says – contradicting claims from Brussels that the situation is under control.

The confidential report, leaked to German newspaper Bild, claims 6.6million migrants are waiting in countries around the Mediterranean sea to cross into Europe, including 2.5million in war-torn North Africa.

This year has already seen record numbers of African migrants making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean, with Italy the frontline of the crisis.

The surge has led to more than 1,200 deaths so far this year as smuggling gangs, largely operating in lawless Libya, resort to increasingly ruthless tactics. Charities have warned there could be even higher numbers making the crossing in the coming months.’

Read more: Nearly seven million migrants are ‘waiting to cross into Europe’: Leaked report warns of new crisis but Brussels insists the situation is under control

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