At least 12 people died and many others were injured on Sunday when their minibus overturned and caught fire in Van province in eastern Turkey. The region near the border with Iran is a common route for migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.
A minibus carrying migrants toppled into a ditch while traveling overnight near Yumakli in Turkey’s eastern Van province, the Turkish Anadolu news agency reported.
Television broadcasts showed groaning survivors being treated by the roadside as emergency workers sifted through the burnt-out wreckage. The nationalities of the dead and injured were not known, but according to the Reuters news agency, the passengers on the bus were from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Local sources told Reuters that the owner of the bus had been detained.
Regular crossing point
Migrants, mostly from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, regularly cross the Iranian border into Turkey on foot before travelling further west to cities like Istanbul and Ankara, usually with the help of smugglers. Many have died attempting the journey. In June 2020, more than 60 migrants drowned in Lake Van when their boat sank.
The president of the Ankara-based Center for Asylum and Migration Studies, Metin Corabatir, says that the planned US withdrawal from Afghanistan is pushing more young men to try the mountainous route, the news agency dpa reports.
With AP, dpa, Reuters