Migrants: 66 caught, 45 escape

Police arrested nearly 40 illegal immigrants who had been let off a lorry west of Thessaloniki yesterday, while illegal migrants staged a mass breakout from a detention area in Crete. Police said the 38 detainees – from Iraq, Kashmir, Iran and Israel – were found on the Athens-Thessaloniki national road near the Gallikos River, some 15 kilometers west of the northern port city. The migrants are believed to have been ferried across the Evros River on the Turkish border on Saturday by smugglers to whom they paid $5,000 (3,875 euros) each. After spending three days hidden in a forest in the Evros area, they were picked up by a trucker who was supposed to take them to Athens. Instead, he dumped them on the highway. Meanwhile, police in central Crete were seeking a group of 45 Egyptian illegal immigrants who managed to overpower their six guards in a hotel used as a temporary detention center in Gouves, 20 kilometers east of Iraklion, yesterday evening. And on the eastern Aegean island of Kalymnos, coast guards arrested 28 illegal migrants early yesterday.