Seven Dead, 5 Injured In Greece Apparent Migrant-Smuggling Attempt

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At least seven people died and five others were injured on Wednesday on Northern Greek highway when a van crashed into a toll booth, Greek police said.

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However, police personnel were alerted to the scene by people passing by.

According to ANA-MPE News Agency, the vehicle is apparently smuggling migrants when it slammed into the concrete island built for a toll booth under construction.

The victims and the injured were brought to a hospital in nearby Alexandroupolis.

Initial reports said 10 were killed but police later put the number at seven.

It was not immediately clear how many people were in the van, or whether there were any smugglers among the casualties.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Greek police patrolling the Egnatia Odos highway connecting Turkey with Thessaloniki frequently stop vans and Lorries smuggling migrants who manage to cross the land border from Turkey.

According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, nearly 11,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Greece since the beginning of 2020, around 2,400 of them across the land border.

UNHCR said that the rest sailed across the Aegean to the Greek islands.

Those arriving by land attempt to reach Western Europe without being registered in Greece and usually pay smugglers to transport them to the west coast or the border with North Macedonia.

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