A shootout between migrants near Serbia’s border with Hungary early Friday left three people dead and another person seriously injured, Serbian state TV RTS reported Friday.
The shooting took place in abandoned rural warehouses near the village of Khorgos, the report said. A large number of police officers were sent to the scene, RTS reported. Police have yet to issue an official statement.
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Reports of violence and gun battles have become frequent near the border between Serbia and European Union member country Hungary. Thousands of migrants have camped in the area, looking for ways to cross with the help of people smugglers.
The Serbian-Hungarian border region is on the so-called Balkan overland migration route to Western Europe, which leads from Turkey to Greece and Bulgaria and then to North Macedonia, Serbia or Bosnia.
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Hungary’s staunchly anti-immigration government has put up a wire fence on the border with Serbia to stem the influx. However, gangs of people smugglers have proliferated in the border region, often clashing for control.
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Serbian police have raided the border area on several occasions in recent months. They later reported arresting hundreds of migrants, arresting smugglers and finding various weapons in the forested area.