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European Police Now Patrolling Border Between Greece, Macedonia

The wall on Macedonia's southern border with Greece

Officers from the European border agency Frontex have begun patrolling the border between Greece and Macedonia to deter illegal crossings by migrants, Frontex said on February 3.

So far, nine Frontex officers are assisting the Greek border agency, with more due to join them in the coming weeks. The operation is initially planned to last one year.

Last year, the border was frequently used by smuggling gangs trying to sneak migrants stranded in Greece through Macedonia towards Europe's affluent heartland.

But the clandestine traffic has eased considerably since a series of border closures in the Balkan region at midyear and a deal between the European Union and Turkey to limit migrant flows.

Still, more than 62,000 refugees and other migrants remain in Greece hoping for a chance to travel to northern Europe to live and work.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa