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North Macedonia police find 22 migrants trying Balkans route

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Police in North Macedonia say two vehicles carrying 22 migrants who allegedly planned to enter Serbia illegally and travel on to European Union countries were stopped in separate weekend incidents.

Police said Sunday that nine Pakistanis were found in a car in the country’s south late Saturday, near the borders with Greece and Bulgaria. The driver was arrested and placed in custody.

They say 13 Syrians were discovered Sunday, but their driver ran away.

Authorities said both groups would be deported to Greece, where they had been before.

North Macedonia police said they also broke up a migrant trafficking ring Saturday in which a police officer allegedly was involved.

A 2016 deal between the EU and Turkey was meant to close off the Balkans land route from Greece to western Europe.

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