NEWS

Kurds die in crossing to Italy

ROME (AFP) – Five Kurdish would-be illegal immigrants suffocated to death on Saturday when the driver, alerted by tapping sounds inside his vehicle, found the dead after stopping at an Italian service station, police said. Four others were taken to hospital in serious condition. The truck belongs to a Rome-based moving company that had been contracted by an employee of the Bulgarian embassy in Italy, and was carrying a car. One of the survivors said the passengers had entered the vehicle in Greece and had each paid 500 euros to reach Germany through Italy. The truck came off a ferry early Saturday at the southern Italian town of Bari. The driver called authorities after he heard people inside banging on the sides of the truck, but they suffocated despite trying to extract themselves with the aid of a drill found inside the vehicle, investigators said. [The Italian driver and his assistant were released yesterday when one of the migrants corroborated their story with police.]