Four Iraqis die in back of a van

Four illegal immigrants from Iraq were killed yesterday and another 20 injured when the van in which they were being smuggled into Greece crashed into another vehicle on a country road near Thessaloniki, authorities said. The trafficker driving the van fled the scene after the crash, police said, but was arrested several hours later. He is thought to be an Albanian national who picked up the migrants in the Evros border region in northeastern Greece. All the migrants were Iraqis. The accident happened on a road between Rendina and Lagadas, which links two sections of the Egnatia Highway, when the trafficker attempted to overtake a minibus that was carrying Turkish migrants on their way back to Germany. The Albanian driver lost control of the vehicle, which hit a rock and then overturned. Four of the migrants who were packed into the rear of the van were killed instantly, two were seriously injured and another 18 slightly injured – they were being treated at various Thessaloniki hospitals.