The Latest: Egyptian migrant dies fleeing police on train

AP News
Posted: Mar 11, 2016 1:20 PM
The Latest: Egyptian migrant dies fleeing police on train

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The Latest on the mass migration into Europe (all times local):

7:15 p.m.

German police say a 17-year-old Egyptian migrant has died after jumping out of a train window as officers checked passengers' papers.

Officers carrying out a routine check Friday morning found the boy hiding under seats in an empty compartment of a train traveling from Verona, Italy to Munich, news agency dpa reported. As they checked his papers, he ran into another compartment, opened the window and jumped out.

The boy's body was found close to a station in Haar, just outside Munich.

German federal police had told him to leave the country for Austria on Wednesday. Officers hadn't been looking for him on Friday, and police spokesman Marcus da Gloria Martins said he had appeared to be neither unusually nervous nor desperate.


6:50 p.m.

Turkish officials say Greece has returned 90 migrants from Pakistan, Morocco, Algeria and Turkey who had crossed into the country from Turkey.

The government's migration agency in Edirne, northwest Turkey, said the migrants crossed back into Turkey on Friday through the Ipsala border gate.

Greece returned the migrants under an existing agreement with Greece on the readmission to Turkey of migrants who do not qualify for international protection.

The migration agency said eight Algerian migrants were placed at a deportation center in Edirne, while 71 Pakistanis and Moroccans were sent to a detention center in Erzurum, in eastern Turkey.


6:40 p.m.

Albanian police have increased their presence near the border with Greece fearing Syrian refugees could use the country as a new transit-point after the route through Macedonia and Serbia was blocked.

An Interior Ministry official said Friday that the border with Greece is monitored non-stop while other police forces check surrounding streets in the districts bordering Greece. The official was not authorized to talk on the issue and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Next week Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano will come to Tirana to discuss "technicalities" surrounding joint patrols of the Greek-Albanian border.

Tirana says it is ready to shoulder its share of responsibility of the refugee crisis in a "joint European plan," adding it has limited capabilities of sheltering refugees in transit toward northern Europe.

—By Llazar Semini


6:15 p.m.

A Turkish official says five Greek islands would be "cleared" of migrants before a proposed deal with the European Union on the return of migrants to Turkey comes into effect.

The Foreign Ministry official told reporters Friday that the migrants on those islands would be taken to mainland Greece and resettled elsewhere. Turkey would start taking back any new migrants that arrive on the islands once the deal is in place, the official said. He did not name the islands.

The EU and Turkey this week agreed on the outlines of a deal that would send thousands of irregular migrants back to Turkey. In return, the EU would take an equal number of Syrian refugees who have found shelter in Turkey. The deal could be finalized at an EU summit next week.

The official said the aim of the deal is to discourage the illegal and dangerous migrant crossings from Turkey to the Greek islands and said Turkey was confident that these crossings would drop significantly days after the Turkish proposal comes into effect.

He added the EU would pay for the return of the migrants to Turkey.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.

—By Suzan Fraser


6:00 p.m.

A senior State Department official says the U.S. is increasing the number of refugees it accepts, including the number of Syrians.

Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland also told a press conference in Athens Friday that the U.S. "will continue to be a welcoming place for refugees."

Nuland was responding to a question on whether the U.S. was ready to increase the number of asylum-seekers it is willing to accept. She provided no further details.

On Thursday, Nuland visited an overcrowded tent city on Greece's northern border with Macedonia, where about 14,000 refugees heading for central Europe are living in dire circumstances.

Macedonia has closed the Idomeni border crossing, and Greek authorities are appealing to refugees to move to nearby organized shelters.


5:30 p.m.

A court in southern Denmark has fined an outspoken children's rights activist and her partner for driving six Syrian migrants from a Danish ferry terminal to a bridge to Sweden, where they are believed to have sought asylum.

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The city court in Nykoebing ruled Friday Lisbeth Zornig Andersen and Mikael Rauno Lindholm were guilty of violating Danish immigration laws forbidding assisting foreigners to cross Denmark illegally.

They were each fined 22,500 kroner ($3,330) for driving four adults and two children to the Oresund bridge in early September.

Andersen, the former chairwoman of the National Council for Children and debater, said "the court needed to set an example, because I am a known person."

In January, another Danish citizen was fined for driving five migrants to Sweden.


4:00 p.m.

Slovakia's foreign ministry has accused the Greek ambassador to Bratislava of meddling in the country's internal affairs over his criticism of Prime Minister Robert Fico's anti-migrant stance in the election campaign.

Campaigning on an anti-migrant ticket, Fico's leftist Smer-Social Democracy party won the ballot Saturday with 28.3 percent of the vote, or 49 seats in the 150-seat Parliament and needs coalition partners to rule.

President Andrej Kiska has asked Fico to try to form a government. If he fails, it would give a chance to a center-right coalition government.

In an interview with the Dennik N newspaper Tuesday, ambassador Nicolas Plexidas said Fico contributed to the rise of xenophobia in Slovakia and the surprise election success of a neo-Nazi party.

The ministry says Plexidas' comments are "unacceptable."


11:45 a.m.

Authorities in Greece say they hope an overcrowded refugee camp on the Greek-Macedonian border can be emptied within two weeks, as people are slowly persuaded to move to nearby government-built shelters.

Nikos Toskas, a deputy minister for public order, ruled out using force to move the 14,000 people camped out at the border near the village of Idomeni in increasingly desperate conditions.

"We have to persuade them (to move) and we can't do that using tear gas. Half the people there are women and children," Toskas told private Mega television Friday.

Authorities say about 800 people have agreed so far to leave the camp, but more arrive daily.

Macedonia closed its borders to all migrants and refugees this week after several Balkan countries and Austria began imposing restrictions in February.