EU migration guards under fire on Greek border: police

20th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

An EU border agency patrol came under fire on Friday from suspected smugglers on the Greek frontier with Turkey, police said.

The patrol, which according to state television NET included two Germans and two Greeks, was shot at with hunting rifles but nobody was injured.

The incident occurred on the Evros River, the natural boundary between Greece and Turkey that is frequently used by smugglers to sneak undocumented migrants and refugees into the European Union.

At least eight shots were fired at the patrol by four men on the Turkish side from a distance of over 150 metres (164 yards), the police said.

"This was a distance greater than the range of the rifles," a police statement said.

The suspects were attempting to cross the river with boats.

Turkish guards on the other side were alerted and arrested 97 migrants hiding in the surrounding area. It was not immediately clear if the suspected smugglers were also caught.

Patrols from the European border agency Frontex deployed in the area last year to help Greece hold back an overwhelming surge of arrivals from Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

The Greek government has also announced plans to erect a 12.5-kilometre (eight-mile) fence in the area in agreement with Turkey but the project has yet to be launched.

© 2011 AFP

0 Comments To This Article