Police in North Macedonia have reportedly detained 81 migrants found in a truck near the country's border with Serbia. The driver of the vehicle had apparently ignored a police warning to stop for a check. He later abandoned the vehicle.
Police told the Associated Press that the migrants found late
Monday were from Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. They are believed to have entered North Macedonia
illegally from Greece and are likely to be returned there for the time being.
The number of migrants intercepted while entering North Macedonia illegally has increased by 20% so far this year.
Balkans still at the heart of Europe's migration crisis
More than a million migrants and refugees have crossed from Turkey into Greece and through the Balkans to head to the EU since the height of the so-called refugee crisis in 2015.
The original Balkan route used by the vast majority of these migrants and refugees, which would see them move through the Balkans into Hungary and Austria before moving further into Europe was shut down in 2016.
Nevertheless, many still use smuggling routes through the Balkans in hopes of reaching Europe; however, thousands of migrants are currently stuck in Bosnia, as Croatia — an EU member state — is cracking down on irregular migration at its border, with numerous reports of violence being used by the authorities.