NEWS

Pickup truck carrying migrants crashes in North Macedonia

TAGS: Migration, North Macedonia

A pickup truck carrying 32 migrants has crashed in North Macedonia, near the southern borders with Bulgaria and Greece, leaving eight people injured, police said Wednesday.

Police said the pickup truck had been traveling at high speed when it crashed into a car and then into parked vehicles in the town of Strumica on Tuesday.

Authorities said the vehicle was carrying 15 Afghans, nine Pakistanis, six Bangladeshis, one Syrian and one Iraqi.

Eight people were transferred to the local hospital, two of them with serious injuries. The rest were taken to a migrant center in the town of Gevgelija pending deportation to Greece, from where authorities believe the 32 had arrived clandestinely.

The driver, a 27-year-old national of North Macedonia, was arrested on suspicion of migrant trafficking.

The incident comes a day after authorities said 211 migrants had been found packed into a truck stopped during a routine traffic control in the south of the country.

The Greek border with North Macedonia was closed earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. But trafficking networks remain active in the area, ferrying migrants who make their way from Turkey into Greece and then head north toward more prosperous countries in the European Union's center and north.

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