Bulgaria sends 350 troops to Turkish border amid migrant influx

More than 6,500 people have illegally crossed into Bulgaria this year

Bulgaria has sent 350 troops to its border with Turkey as police struggle to cope with an influx of migrants.

More than 6,500 people have illegally crossed into the EU member state this year, three times more than during the first nine months of 2020.

“Soldiers arrived at the Bulgarian-Turkish border since today to back up the border police,” Bulgaria’s defence minister Georgi Panayotov said.

A partly damaged barbed-wire fence runs the length of the 259-kilometre border with Turkey.

Sitting on the eastern border of the EU, Bulgaria lies on one of the main routes that asylum seekers from Afghanistan and the Middle East use to enter into the bloc.

It is one of the poorest EU member states and has never taken in large numbers of asylum seekers, who often attempt to move further into the bloc before waiting for a response from the Greek island of Sofia on their refugee status.

The Bulgarian parliament agreed in August to dispatch between 400 and 700 soldiers to the country's borders with Greece and Turkey, mainly to help build fencing.

Mr Panayotov had issued a warning then on the growing pressure at Bulgaria’s borders.

Updated: November 2nd 2021, 10:34 AM