Police identified the suspected smuggler as a 27-year-old Macedonian national. He and three of the passengers were taken to a hospital, but their injuries were not considered life-threatening, and the Macedonian man was later arrested, the statement said.
The other migrants, who were believed to have entered the country from Greece, were transferred to a shelter in the southern border town of Gevgelija pending deportation back to Greece.
Migration along what is known as Europe’s Balkan route has picked up since travel restrictions imposed under the COVID-19 pandemic were lifted.
In the first 10 months of 2022, there were nearly 17,000 illegal attempts to enter North Macedonia, nearly double the number from the same period a year earlier, according to police.
Follow AP’s coverage of global migration at https://apnews.com/hub/migration
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