The European Union says it is sending a team of border officials to Greece to help the country handle an increase in the number of immigrants -- many reportedly from African countries or Afghanistan -- seeking to illegally cross into the EU from Turkey.
The European Commission said in a statement that in response to a request from Greece, a rapid intervention team from the EU border agency FRONTEX will be deployed to the border with Turkey.
It is the first time the EU's rapid intervention border teams have been deployed since the teams were created in 2007.
EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in a statement that the flows of people crossing from Turkey into Greece "have reached alarming proportions and Greece is manifestly not able to face this situation alone."
The European Commission statement added that the number of illegal refugees "has grown steadily" and the situation is "increasingly dramatic" at the border, particularly along a 12.5-kilometer-long stretch of the river Evros.
According to the United Nations, an estimated 300 to 400 immigrants enter Greece each day -- an influx that has strained the country's ability to detain and process those seeking to enter the EU.
compiled from agency reports