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Greece arrests drivers transporting Syrians asylum seekers near border

Syrian refugees escaping Assad's brutality in Greece [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 February, 2018

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Greek police say they have arrested two Syrian citizens on suspicion of transporting 20 people who allegedly had entered the country illegally from Turkey.

Greek police say they have arrested two Syrian citizens on suspicion of transporting 20 people who allegedly had entered the country illegally from Turkey.

The arrests happened on Saturday, but announced by police on Sunday.

Police said a 30-year-old driving an SUV tried to speed away after being spotted near Greece's northeastern border with Turkey. The vehicle ended up in a ditch and police discovered 13 Syrians inside, seven of them children. Three were taken to a hospital with minor injuries and released.

In a separate incident, police say they arrested a 25-year-old for allegedly transporting seven Syrian and Palestinian migrants who lacked authorisation to enter Greece.

Police say similar arrests are common in northern Greece.

Syrian refugees have been entering Greece to escape what has become a full blown war after dictator Bashar al-Assad crushed peaceful protests in the 2011 Arab Spring.

Migrants and refugees have been entering Greece from across to escape war and to find political asylum.

A group of Turks who reached a Greek island last week by dinghy from Turkey are seeking political asylum in Greece, authorities in Athens said.

The 17 were reportedly Turkish civil servants and their families who fled a government crackdown in the wake of a failed 2016 coup.

The coast guard said the Turks, including six children, were found Monday on the eastern Aegean Sea island of Oinousses, and taken to the nearby island of Chios where a refugee centre is located.

 

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