Bulgarian Border Police Records Triple Increase in Illegal Migrant Crossings
Bulgarian Border Police registered a triple increase in the number of illegal migrant crossings of the border with Turkey in the first three months of 2015.
A total of 956 people were detained as they attempted to cross the border illegally, which is almost a triple increase compared to the same period in 2014.
The largest pressure exerted on the Bulgarian-Turkish border is coming from Syria, private bTV station reports.
Bulgaria is part of the Eastern Mediterranean route of illegal migrants, who cross from Turkey into the EU via southern Bulgaria, Greece or Cyprus on their way to western Europe.
Compared to the Mediterranean countries, no sea crossings were attempted into Bulgaria in the first three months of 2015.
However there is an almost triple increase in the number of illegal migrant crossings of the Bulgarian-Turkish border, including through the Rezovska river.
On Monday, Bulgarian police detained seventeen illegal immigrants in the district of Stara Zagora, which is the second case to occur in the region in less than a month.
According to the latest Frontex data, the increase of attempted crossings of the Bulgaria-Turkey border was 12-fold compared to last year.
To some extent the increase is due to the measures, which have been taken in order to limit the influx of migrants, such as the protective fence Bulgaria is constructing at the border.
There were 80 000 illegal crossings of the EU borders in the first three months of 2015, more than half of them – 46 000 being seaborne ones.
Over 24 000 migrants have been rescued in the Mediterranean Sea since the EU launched its Triton operation on 1 November 2014.
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