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Three Afghan Migrants Die In Traffic Accident Fleeing Police In Serbia


A group of migrant children from Iraq and Afganistan at a center for migrants in eastern Serbia

A group of migrant children from Iraq and Afganistan at a center for migrants in eastern Serbia

Three Afghan migrants died and another 10, including six children, were injured in a traffic accident in southern Serbia on December 29, the Interior Ministry has said.

The driver, a suspected smuggler, fled the scene after his passenger car crammed with 14 people swerved off the road and hit a safety barrier while fleeing from police.

Two migrants were killed on the spot and a child later died in the hospital, Zoran Radovanovic, the director of a local hospital in Nis, told reporters. "One woman had both legs amputated," he added.

Serbia was a focal point for migrants last year, when hundreds of thousands fleeing wars and poverty in the Middle East and Asia traveled up through the Balkans to reach wealthy Western Europe.

Although that route was closed off in March, Serbian authorities estimate a further 110,000 migrants have passed through the country, many using smugglers to travel across Serbia and cross its barbed-wire border with Hungary.

Serbian authorities arrested three men on suspicion of people trafficking on December 26 after 77 migrants were found hidden in cargo vehicles.

According to the United Nations refugee agency, around 7,000 migrants are stranded in camps in Serbia.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa
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