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Nearly 70 migrants found on berm on Greek-Turkish border

March 27, 2015

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Greek border police said Friday they had rescued 68 people, most of them Syrians, trying to cross illegally into Greece after they became stranded on a berm on the Greek-Turkish border.

The migrants, including 14 children aged between 3 and 12 and seven women, were stranded after crossing the Evros river dividing the two countries and finding the fields on the Greek side severely flooded following days of heavy rainfall. The group was located before dawn Friday after one of them called Greek emergency services.

Border police used inflatable dinghies to reach the group, who authorities say had been abandoned by the smuggler facilitating their journey. Police said they later told authorities a smuggler had put them into 10 inflatable dinghies on the Turkish side of the river, and the current carried them to the berm, located in a bend on the river.

The migrants, soaked and suffering from cold, were taken to a nearby holding center and given clothes, food and shoes, authorities said.

Greece is on the main route used by migrants and refugees attempting to enter the European Union. Tens of thousands enter the country each year, and many perish along the way, mostly when their rickety boats sink while attempting the sea crossing from Turkey to nearby Greek islands.

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