JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Bulgaria detains 137 migrants in sweep in central Sofia

Saturday, September 19, 2015, 17:23 GMT+7
Bulgaria detains 137 migrants in sweep in central Sofia
Migrants share food at the Croatia-Slovenia border crossing at Bregana, Croatia, September 19, 2015.

SOFIA, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Bulgaria's security forces have detained 137 foreigners in the capital Sofia in a sweep aimed at combating illegal migration, the country's latest effort to tackle the migrant crisis challenging the Balkans region.

The migrants, who claimed they were from Syria, were detained following an operation by the state security agency (SANS), gendarmes and border police on Friday night, the interior ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The ministry said the foreigners, who were detained after checks in hostels and small hotels in central Sofia, would be questioned. It is yet to be determined how they entered the country and whether they should be granted refugee status.

Earlier this month, Bulgaria detained 125 foreigners in Sofia for illegally crossing into the country without submitting requests for asylum.

The Black Sea state, a member of the European Union but not of the border-free Schengen Area, has deployed more border police, installed cameras and motion sensors, and is extending a security fence to cover 160 km (100 miles) of its border with Turkey. But more migrants keep arriving.

The defence ministry announced plans to send more soldiers to strengthen controls along its border with Turkey as a refugee influx overwhelms its neighbours, saying up to 1,000 troops could back up border police if needed.

Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said the Bulgarian security forces were in constant contact with Turkish authorities, who are trying to keep the migrants about 40 km from the border.

Tens of thousands of migrants, most of them fleeing war and hardship in Syria, are trying to reach Western Europe through Bulgaria's neighbours, non-EU members Macedonia and Serbia.


Read more

Global spread of coronavirus raises pandemic fears

Italy sealed off the worst-affected towns and banned public gatherings in much of the north, including halting the carnival in Venice, where there were two cases, to try to contain the biggest outbreak in Europe

21 hours ago



Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Vietnamese-made app allows people to grow real veggies via smartphone

Nguyen Thi Duyen, a young engineer in Hanoi, developed the app and its related services to help busy people create their own veggie gardens.

Chinese tourists hit by Vietnamese over dine and dash

Four Chinese were reportedly injured, with one having a broken arm.

Latest news