Bulgaria-Turkey border jammed after new security checks

16th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

Hundreds of trucks were stuck at Bulgaria's main southeastern border checkpoint with Turkey for a second day Monday due to beefed-up security checks following the attacks in Paris, officials said.

Sofia ordered all passports and vehicles crossing into its territory to be checked after Friday's tragedy, in which at least 129 people were killed in a series of coordinated attacks in the French capital.

The measures led to huge queues at the busy Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint, with truck drivers waiting for hours to exit Bulgaria while police scanned their cargo.

"The queue this morning is about 10 kilometres (six miles) long despite our efforts to conduct the checks as quickly as possible," a border police official at the checkpoint told AFP by phone.

Bulgaria -- a member of the EU but not of the passport-free Schengen zone -- is a transit point for a growing number of western Europeans seeking to join the jihadist Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

Border officials have detained dozens of foreigners attempting to cross through Kapitan Andreevo, including a friend of the Kouachi brothers who shot dead 12 people in an attack on the Paris offices of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in January.

© 2015 AFP

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