SKOPJE, N. Macedonia – Officials in North Macedonia say a police patrol has detained a group of 33 migrants found walking through the southern part of the country, near the border with Greece.
Police said in a statement that the group consisted of 21 Afghan nationals, seven Pakistanis, three Iraqis and two Iranians. They were located late Wednesday near the southern town of Strumica.
Authorities said the migrants are believed to have entered illegally from Greece. They were transferred to a detention center in the border town of Gevgelija pending deportation to Greece.
Although the Balkan route followed by migrants trying to reach Europe’s prosperous heartland has been closed since 2016, thousands still use it. They usually pay large sums to smuggling gangs to illegally get them through the closed borders.