Greece: 11 passengers of a vehicle carrying migrants die burned alive

The charred carcass of a truck in which 11 alleged migrants died on October 13, 2018 in northern Greece.n / & copy AFP / Sakis MITROLIDIS

The eleven passengers of a vehicle suspected of smuggling migrants were burned to death in a frontal collision with a truck on Saturday in northern Greece, police said.

The driver of the truck, which was heading for Kavala, a city on the northeast coast, has however escaped unscathed. The truck burned completely.

The firefighters extracted eleven bodies of the vehicle on which were most likely migrants and who were heading towards Thessalonica, an agglomeration also located in the northern part of the Aegean Sea.

The Greek police said in a statement that the vehicle had been used in the past for the illegal passage of migrants and that his driver had not complied earlier in the day with police orders to proceed with a police raid. control.

Last June, a van used by smugglers carrying 16 people, mostly from Syria and Iran, had an accident near Kavala that killed six people, including three children.

"We are deeply saddened by this catastrophic information coming from an area where thousands of refugees have risked their lives and entered Greece by illegal means," the representative in the country of the United Nations Agency said in a statement. United for Refugees (HCR), Philippe Leclerc.

More than 12,700 refugees and migrants have entered northeastern Greece since the beginning of the year, more than double the number of 2017, according to figures compiled by UNHCR.

At least 40 deaths have been reported in the region in 2018, including nearly half in drowning cases in the fast-flowing Evros River.

"These horrific deaths are part of the wider dangers facing these people, who are at the mercy of traffickers exploiting their vulnerability," UNHCR said in its statement, calling for "alternatives to these dangerous journeys to persons in need of international protection ".

(© AFP / (October 13, 2018, 20h12)


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