Bulgarian Army, Police Hold Border Security Drill at Ilinden Crossing
Bulgarian Army troops are holding a joint training exercise with border police units at Ilinden, a crossing at the country’s border with Greece, the Defence Ministry announced on Thursday.
The exercise, involving about 40 troops and military police, is part of Bulgaria’s efforts to adequately respond to a potential increase in migration flow after the closure of the Western Balkans route.
Army troops based in the city of Smolyan will take part in joint patrols with border police during the exercise, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
EU border agency Frontex has warned that migrants stranded in Greece might try to reach Western Europe via Bulgaria once the Western Balkans route through Macedonia and Serbia is closed.
Last month, Bulgaria’s Parliament granted extended powers to the Army to assist Border Police in securing protection and control of the country’s frontiers amid the migration crisis in Europe. Until then the Army had only been allowed to provide logistics support to border police.
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