European and Coast Guard Agency officers from Netherlands (L) and Bulgaria (R) monitor the border between Bulgaria and Turkey at the check point Kapitan Andreevo, southeast Bulgaria, 7 October 2016 | Photo: EPA/Vassil Donev
European and Coast Guard Agency officers from Netherlands (L) and Bulgaria (R) monitor the border between Bulgaria and Turkey at the check point Kapitan Andreevo, southeast Bulgaria, 7 October 2016 | Photo: EPA/Vassil Donev

Bulgaria's interior minister has announced that security has been tightened along the southern border of the country. Meanwhile, the Bosnian government says that if European borders remain 'hermetically closed' to migrants, Bosnia will also close its eastern and southern borders.

The Bulgarian defense minister, Krasimir Karakachanov, has said the situation at Bulgaria's southern border "is under control." "We are ready to act, the perimeter is well-monitored with partner countries," the minister told reporters after a meeting with the Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov.


The talks focused on the situation at Bulgaria's border with Turkey and Greece in the event of a migrant crisis. Interior Minister Mladen Marinov announced that more border police and security officials had been deployed at the border. 

Problems after fake reports went viral 

Marinov said fake news reports published on social media are causing problems. The reports, published under the hashtag "convoy of hope," urge migrants to leave hosting centers in Turkey and Greece to attempt a mass crossing into Western Europe. In the appeal, Bulgaria is mentioned as an alternative route in case the attempt to cross the border of North Macedonia fails. 

The Bulgarian defense ministry has said it is ready to deploy up to 3,000 soldiers at the southern border if necessary. 

Bosnian PM threatens to close borders 

Meanwhile Bosnia's Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic says his country will close its Eastern and Southern borders with Serbia and Montenegro if Europe's borders remain "hermetically closed" to migrants, according to a report by Fena news agency. Zvizdic added that the government has asked the president to deploy unarmed combat engineers to control the border. The Prime Minister denied the presence of 200,000 migrants in Bosnia.

Between 25,000 and 26,000 migrants have crossed into the country since the beginning of last year, officials said. Fewer than 4,000 migrants are currently present in the country, according to official data. 

Zvizdic said fewer migrants are travelling to Serbia as tourists and then illegally travelling to Bosnia. He denied reports that thousands of fighters are heading back to the country from Syria. "So far, 46 have returned," he said, adding that "104 Bosnian citizens are still in Syria, including 58 women and children."
 

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