North Macedonia soldiers patrol next to the razor wire fence at the Macedonian border with Greece, near Gevgelija | Photo: EPA/Georgi Licovski
North Macedonia soldiers patrol next to the razor wire fence at the Macedonian border with Greece, near Gevgelija | Photo: EPA/Georgi Licovski

Authorities in North Macedonia stopped 50 people who were trying to reach Europe via a new Balkan route at the weekend. 37 others were apprehended in Slovenia.

In two operations over the weekend, North Macedonia police intercepted 50 migrants believed to have entered the country from Greece. Local media reported that 10 Pakistani migrants were found in a vehicle stopped on a highway in the central part of the country. The driver reportedly escaped. 


Another 40 undocumented migrants were discovered during a check on a lorry, including 12 children from Pakistan, Syria and Egypt. All of the migrants were to be handed over to the Greek authorities. 

37 stopped in Slovenia over the weekend 

In Slovenia, 37 migrants were stopped at the weekend by Koper district police. Local police report that most were Afghan and Turkish nationals but four were Chinese. Nineteen of them requested asylum, while 17 were handed over to Croatian security authorities. A Kosovo national -- who had been issued an international arrest warrant for armed robbery -- is in detention, suspected of being at the head of the group of migrants stopped. 

On Saturday, Italian police informed their Slovenian counterparts that they had begun procedures to hand over two Iraqis and three Turkish nationals who were stopped together with a guide, a 55-year-old Slovenian, in Italian territory. All five migrants have requested international protection.
 

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