Bodies of six migrants found on Greek-Turkish border

Arrivals in Greece over land border with Turkey have increased since 2018

epa08046476 Macedonian soldiers patrol the Macedonian border with Greece, near Gevgelija, Republic of North Macedonia on 13 September 2019 (issued on 05 December 2019). Although the Balkan migrant route has been officially closed since 03 March 2016, small groups of migrants are still illegally passing the border between Greece and North Macedonia on their way to western Europe. Some travel this road by foot, while others use the transport offered by migrant smugglers. Beside the North Macedonian police and army, the border with Greece is being patrolled by police forces from other European countries.  EPA/GEORGI LICOVSKI  ATTENTION: This Image is part of a PHOTO SET
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Six migrants have died from exposure on the Greek-Turkish border in recent days, a Greek coroner said on Tuesday.

Pavlos Pavlidis said the bodies of two women, believed to be of African origin, and six men aged between 18 and 30 were found between December 5 and 8 in the Evros region.

No identification was found on the migrants.

The Evros region is a major crossing point for refugees and migrants trying to enter the EU from Turkey.

The number of migrants arriving in Greece peaked in 2015 when more than a million people, most of them Syrian refugees, crossed from Turkey, mainly by boat.

A deal struck between the EU and Ankara in 2016 helped to stem the flow.

But the number of people trying to cross Evros into Greece has increased since naval patrols intensified in the Aegean Sea that year.

Traffickers have also found entry points along a 12km barbed-wire fence that runs along the border with Turkey.

The Greek government in November said it would hire 400 border guards in Evros and increase surveillance there.

Many migrants have drowned on the perilous journey across the Evros river over the past few years.

In early November, 41 migrants were found alive in a refrigerated truck on a highway in northern Greece.

For the first time since 2016, Greece has become the main entry point for asylum seekers in Europe.

The UN refugee agency said 55,000 migrants crossed from Turkey to Greece through the Aegean islands this year.

Arrivals through the land border with Turkey have been increasing since 2018.

The UNHCR estimates more than 14,000 people have taken the route this year.

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