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HomeE.U.Serbian police arrested seven smugglers and found over 700 migrants

Serbian police arrested seven smugglers and found over 700 migrants

On Friday, Serbian police reported seven arrests on suspicion of smuggling people into Hungary amid a crackdown on illegal migration sparked by a shooting last week that left three migrants dead and one wounded, according to The Associated Press.

Shootings and violence close to the Serbian-Hungarian border appear to have become commonplace. Thousands of people camped out in the area, looking for ways to cross the border with the help of smugglers.

Police officials reported on Friday they had made arrests in both Belgrade and Subotica, a town near the Hungarian border. Migrants pay 2,350 euros ($2,500) to cross the country, the statement read.

Police launched daily raids in the forested area after a shooting near the border town of Horgos last Saturday. On Thursday night, police reported finding a total of 738 migrants, some near the border with Hungary and others in a town near the Bulgarian border.

Serbia is situated in the centre of the so-called Balkan land route of migration to Western Europe, leading from Turkey to Greece and Bulgaria and then to Northern Macedonia, Serbia or Bosnia. The number of border crossings increases in autumn as weather conditions prevent migrants from travelling across the Mediterranean Sea.

The Hungarian government has installed a barbed wire fence on the border to halt the influx of refugees and has pushed migrants arriving in Hungary back into Serbia. However, the number of smugglers in the border area has grown, leading to frequent conflicts over the border control.

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