Migrants injured crossing Greece-Turkey border

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Three migrants were injured when the truck in which they were riding with 38 others crashed through a fence in Greece and collided with a parked car outside a town near the Greece-Turkey border, police said Sunday.

Police said the truck’s 27-year-old Afghan driver was arrested after the accident outside Didymoticho on Saturday. They alleged he failed to stop at a police checkpoint before the truck ended up in a home’s front yard.

The 41 passengers were from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Palestine and allegedly crossed the nearby river border before the truck picked them up in Greece, police said.

The people injured were taken to a hospital. One was a minor.

Police said the migrants paid between 1,000 and 1,500 euros ($1,160 to $1,740) each to be transported from the border to the city of Thessaloniki in northern Greece or the capital, Athens.

Also Saturday, police arrested a 23-year-old and a 28-year-old who allegedly helped nine fellow Pakistanis cross the border on a plastic boat.

Police reported Sunday that the number of migrants detained for entering northeastern Greece illegally has risen sharply so far this year.

Based on police statistics, 1,157 migrants without authorization to enter were detained in August in the region of East Macedonia/Thrace, which borders Turkey. During the same month last year, 674 migrants and 34 smugglers were detained.

In Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, 1,138 were detained last month compared to 823 in August 2017.

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