Bulgaria Deploys Army to Border with Greece After Two Migrant Groups Detained
Bulgaria has deployed military personnel to the border with Greece after two groups of illegal immigrants, each consisting of more than thirty people, attempted to cross into the country late on Friday night and early on Saturday morning.
Both groups were detained by officers from the border police department in Petrich and Bulgarian authorities are in talks with their Greek counterparts to arrange the return of the migrants.
According to the preliminary devised plan for joint action between the interior and defence ministries, servicemen from the land forces have been deployed to help border police in guarding the state border with Greece.
All migrants have been taken to the border police department in Petrich. They have been provided with shelter and food and have been subject to routine medical examinations.
There have been no clashes between migrants and authorities, as has been reported by some media.
In relation to the incident, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov convened an extraordinary meeting in Blagoevgrad on Sunday.
The meeting will be attended by Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova, Antonio Angelov, director of the interior ministry's Border Police General Directorate, as well as mayors from the region.
There has been heightened military presence at the Kulata border checkpoint.
According to private NOVA TV, the first group of migrants, consisting of about sixty people, attempted to cross on foot and was detained at Kulata.
Several hours later, the second group was detained. According to preliminary information, it consisted of about fifty people, who were hiding in a freight train traveling from Greece to Bulgaria. All of them were from Afghanistan, but had Greek documents.
There is no tension at the border, but the deployment of more police officers is expected to the region as local citizens have been increasingly worried.
According to dnevnik.bg, a total of 87 migrants were detained. Among them are many women and children.
There were 34 people in the first group and 53 in the second. In the first group, sixteen people were from Syria and the remaining eighteen were from Iraq.
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