Austria tightens border control to search for human smuggling suspects

September 1, 2015 5:21 am 

BUDAPEST, Aug. 31 — Austria has tightened border controls on the M1-A4 motorway linking Budapest to Vienna, blocking traffic for 30 km to search for human smuggling suspects, local wire service MTI reported Monday.

The move came after 71 bodies of migrants were found last Thursday in a closed Hungarian-owned truck on the A4 motorway.

Austria started the border checks on Sunday night, and is halting all vehicles that look like people could be hidden in them.

Austrian authorities have asked travelers to be patient, arguing that people-smugglers were endangering human lives and their intention was essentially a search and rescue operation.

At the same time, Hungarian police apprehended 8,792 migrants who had illegally crossed the border into Hungary from Serbia over the past weekend. They also detained 36 suspected people smugglers. Most of the illegal migrants were from Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Gergely Varkonyi of the Csongrad county police said.

He said that 562 children were among the 2,367 people halted at Roszke, a village in Csongrad county in southern Hungary, the most popular crossing point for illegal migrants.

Since the start of 2015, more than 140,000 asylum seekers have entered Hungary. (PNA/Xinhua)

RMA/SSC

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