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Macedonian Police Arrest Alleged Human Smugglers in Border Village

Immigrants from Afghanistan, who are among many currently living in the Macedonian village of Lojane, 45 kilometers north of Skopje.
SKOPJE -- Macedonian police say they have broken up a human trafficking ring by arresting two Macedonian citizens in a village near the border with Serbia.

The two men, whose names were not released, have been charged with "trafficking immigrants, kidnapping, and robbery."

Police also found 59 migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China -- including four children and a pregnant woman -- during their search for the suspects in the village of Lojane, about 45 kilometers north of Skopje.

In January, RFE/RL's Balkan Service documented how the predominantly ethnic-Albanian village of Lojane has become a stopover on illegal migration routes from Asia and North Africa to Western Europe.

Those reports included interviews in Lojane with illegal immigrants from Afghanistan and Pakistan, Turkish Kurds, Chinese, and North Africans.

With reporting by AFP