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Six migrants found dead on Greek-Turkish border

World | 2019-12-10 20:45:48
Six migrants found dead on Greek-Turkish border
Six migrants have died from exposure on the Greek-Turkish border in recent days, a Greek local coroner said Tuesday.

Pavlos Pavlidis told reporters two women, believed to be of African origin, and six men aged between 18 and 30, were found dead between December 5 and December 8 in the Evros region in Greece.

No ID was found on the migrants, which has made identifying them difficult.

The Evros region is a major crossing point for refugees and migrants trying to get into the EU from Turkey.

The number of migrants arriving in Greece peaked in 2015, when more than a million people, most of them Syrian refugees, crossed over from Turkey, mainly by boat.

A deal struck between the European Union and Ankara in 2016 helped stem the flow. But the number of people attempting to cross Evros into Greece has increased since naval patrols intensified in the Aegean Sea in 2016.

Traffickers have also found entry points along a 12-kilometre-long (seven-mile) barbed wire fence that runs along the border with Turkey.

The Greek government said in November it would hire 400 border guards in the Evros region and would increase surveillance in the area with infrared radars.

The perilous journey across the Evros river has caused many migrants to drown over the last few years.

In early November, 41 migrants were found alive in a refrigerated truck on a highway in northern Greece.

For the first time since 2016, Greece has once again become the main entry point for asylum seekers in Europe.

The UNHCR said 55,000 migrants crossed from Turkey to Greece via the Aegean islands this year.

But arrivals through the land border with Turkey have been increasing since 2018. The UNHCR estimates more than 14,000 people have taken the route this year.

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