Over 250 illegal migrants held in Turkey


Turkish security forces on Wednesday captured 270 illegal migrants during operations in two different provinces, security officials said.

In central Turkey's Sivas province, gendarmerie caught 181 illegal migrants from a bus, which was stopped at a checkpoint in Akincilar district, a security official, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media, told Anadolu Agency.

The migrants were heading to Istanbul from eastern Agri province, the official said.

They included women and children from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

In another operation in northwestern Edirne province, security forces caught 89 illegal migrants, who were trying to reach Greece and Bulgaria.

The suspects were Pakistani, Syrian and Afghan nationals, another security official said.

Turkey and the EU signed a refugee deal in March 2016, which aimed to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of nearly three million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Since then, the number of refugees caught crossing the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece has fallen by 85 percent, according to the Turkish Coast Guard.

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