NEWS

Two killed in Evros minefield

Two dead illegal immigrants were pulled out of a minefield in the Evros prefecture of northeastern Greece in the early hours of yesterday morning and a third was rushed to the hospital after they entered the restricted area just hours earlier. One of the dead was a Mauritanian but the other migrant could not be identified, the army said. The third man, an Iraqi, was being treated in a hospital in Didimoticho yesterday. He claimed that in exchange for 800 euros each, Turkish traffickers had taken the three migrants to the border with Greece, from where they crossed into the country and wandered into the minefield, near the village of Kastanies, at 9.20 p.m. on Sunday. The area is marked with fluorescent warning signs in English and Greek and is ringed by a 1.80-meter-high double fence, the army said. Yesterday's two deaths mean that at least 71 immigrants have been killed in Evros minefields since 1997, when the international Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel mines was signed. Greece, which ratified the treaty in 2002, still has hundreds of thousands of mines buried in the area.

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