SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Police in North Macedonia say they have discovered 42 migrants in a truck in the southeastern part of the country near the border with Greece.
A police patrol car followed the truck Saturday near the town of Star Dojran, 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of the capital of Skopje, intending to flag it down and inspect it. Before they could do so, the driver of the truck and a passenger jumped out while the vehicle was moving. The truck then turned and hit the police patrol car. The police officers were not injured.
Police discovered 41 migrants from Syria and one Bangladeshi packed in the truck. None of them were injured.
The group was transferred to a migrant shelter in the border town of Gevgelija, pending deportation back to Greece, where police believe they came from.
Police said this was the first large group of migrants discovered in North Macedonia in the past six months.
The small Balkan country was a main route for migrants wishing to go to wealthier countries in Europe. But since the COVID-19 pandemic and stricter border controls, Albania has become the desired place for migrants crossing over from Greece on their way to central and northern Europe.
Follow all AP stories on global migration at https://apnews.com/hub/migration.