Greek Police: Migrant Shot Dead While Crossing From Turkey

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — A migrant was shot dead on the Greek-Turkish border as she and several others tried to cross the river that separates the two countries, Greek police said Sunday.

It was not immediately clear who fired the shot that killed the woman on Saturday night.

Greek police were patrolling the area where the Evros River, which is called Meric in Turkish, narrows to about 60 to 70 meters (about 200 feet) wide and through which many migrants try to cross, according to a police statement and additional information. provided to The Associated Press by a police official on condition of anonymity. Officers saw numerous migrants on the Turkish side shortly before 9 p.m.

Police said 11 people boarded an inflatable boat, and officers shined flashlights at the boat and began yelling “Police. Come back.” In response, the police officer said, a “barrel” of gunfire erupted from the Turkish side. The Greek police patrol could not detect the source of the gunfire in the dark and dropped to the ground for cover, firing warning shots into the air, according to the statement corroborated by the agent.

The boat approached the Greek coast and five people disembarked: four made it to shore but a fifth person was floating in the water. Police reached the body with some difficulty, the statement said, and when they pulled it to shore they determined it belonged to a woman and that she was dead.

The police questioned the four survivors: three Pakistani men, a minor (17 years old) and an Eritrean woman. There were conflicting reports about the nationality of the dead woman, but they agree that she was African. It was not known what happened to the other six people who tried to cross, but authorities do not believe they entered Greece.

The coroner who examined the body of the woman in the city of Alexandroupolis, in the northeast of the country, made a preliminary report that she died of a gunshot wound to the back, shot from a very short distance and with a weapon. small caliber. The police officer said that the Greek police do not use such weapons.

The coroner’s final report had not been issued as of Sunday afternoon.

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Demetris Nellas reported from Athens, Greece.

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Follow Costas Kantouris on https://twitter.com/CostasKantouris

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Follow AP’s global migration coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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