Algerian migrants rescued from river on Greek border
ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
A Greek policewoman assists an immigrant from Afghanistan who had earlier entered Greece after crossing the Turkish-Greek border in Evros river area. REUTERS photoBorder guards in northeastern Greece rescued 11 Algerian would-be migrants trapped by a flooded river on the border with Turkey, a police statement said yesterday.
The men, aged 20-25, were located on Sunday by Turkish border guards who alerted their Greek counterparts.
The Algerians had sought refuge on a strip of land on the River Evros, Greece's natural frontier with Turkey, which had risen locally to a level of five meters after heavy rain in neighbouring Bulgaria.
Police used a dinghy to rescue the men, who were subsequently taken to a local health centre, the authorities said.
The Greek-Turkish land border runs a total of 150 kilometers and is a major crossing point for would-be immigrants trying to get into the European Union.
Temperatures in the area fall below freezing after nightfall, and local police calculate that around 80 would-be migrants have died trying to cross the border the last two years.
The bodies of a 12-year-old Iranian boy and his mother were found in the area on Christmas Day, and an African man aged around 30 was discovered on Boxing Day.
All three had died of cold exposure, the police said at the time.