NEWS

Immigrant killed in minefield

One illegal immigrant was killed and another injured after stepping on mines in a fenced-off minefield on the northeastern Evros border with Turkey early on Sunday, an army statement said. The incident raised to 63 the number of people, mainly immigrants trying to illegally enter Greece, who have died in Evros minefields since 1997, when the international Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel mines was signed. Greece ratified the treaty in 2002. The immigrants, who were only identified as male Moldovan nationals, entered the minefield near the town of Ferres, some 30km (18.5 miles) east of Alexandroupolis and a mere 5 kilometers from the Turkish border, around 2.30 a.m. According to the army statement, the minefield – intended to stop a Turkish invasion – was encircled by a double fence hung with phosphorescent warning signs in Greek and English. The injured man was hospitalized in Alexandroupolis with non life-threatening injuries. Also on Sunday, 17 illegal immigrants were arrested in wooden boats off the island of Chios.