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The Latest: Macedonia detains 14 migrants, smuggling suspect

September 4, 2018

FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018 file photo, migrants stand on the deck of the Open Arms boat, after being rescued off the coast of Libya in the early hours of the night of Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018. The U.N. refugee agency says people smugglers are taking greater risks to ferry their human cargo toward Europe as Libya’s coast guard increasingly intercepts boats carrying migrants, increasing the likelihood that those on board may die on the Mediterranean journey. That’s one of the key findings from the latest UNHCR report about efforts to reach Europe. (AP Photo/Valerio Nicolosi, File)

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — The Latest on Europe’s migrant crisis (all times local):

7:15 p.m.

Macedonian police say they have detained a 41-year old man accused of smuggling 14 migrants found crammed into a car that was stopped after a highway chase in the south of the country near the Greek border.

Police say they have detained 11 Afghan and three Pakistani nationals. The smuggling suspect also has been held for questioning under a 30-day detention order.

Smuggling rings remain activing in Macedonia following the closure of the so-called Balkan route between Greece and Western Europe in 2016.

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3:30 p.m.

Authorities in northern Greece have rescued 60 Iraqi migrants, including 27 children, found walking along a major highway after a smuggling truck dumped them far from their destination.

Police said the migrants, who had illegally entered Greece through the land border with Turkey, were found on Tuesday 15 kilometers (9 miles) west of Thessaloniki.

They had been brought by truck from the border, having paid about $2,000 each to a smuggling gang. Authorities believe the driver abandoned them to avoid police roadblocks near Thessaloniki.

Thousands of economic migrants or refugees illegally enter Greece every year from Turkey, despite bilateral deals and an agreement between the European Union and Turkey intended to stem the flow.

Most hope to move on from Greece to more prosperous countries in central and western Europe.

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