Van carrying 12 Syrian immigrants hits police car in Bulgaria
A minibus smuggling 12 Syrian immigrants rammed a police car near the Bulgarian capital Sofia.
Bulgarian officials said the incident happened this week, on November 22, after the driver left the police checkpoint, injuring an officer and several passengers, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Moreover, the vehicle carrying the suspected migrants did not stop at a checkpoint near Sofia before hitting the police car.
According to the Bulgarian Interior Ministry, a 51-year-old policeman suffered life-threatening head injuries. At the same time, a 20-year-old immigrant also suffered head injuries, while three other passengers who were also on board the minibus have already been hospitalized.
In this regard, the General Secretary of the Interior Ministry, Petar Todorov, has said that he will resign, as he demands that tougher penalties be imposed on the smugglers, since many of them are currently simply getting away with almonds.
In addition, at the beginning of November, a 30-year-old policeman was killed while patrolling near the border with Turkey.
Meanwhile, in August two other policewomen were killed when a bus of smugglers rammed their police car near the Black Sea town of Burgas as they tried to arrest it.
Considering that Bulgaria is a member of the European Union but not part of the Schengen area,
it shares a 269 kilometer or 167 mile long land border with Turkey.
Bulgarian government data reveals that since January 14,427 people have been arrested in the country for sneaking in, up from a total of 8,254 last year.
Furthermore, based on statistics from the Ministry of the Interior, during the period January-September last year, more than 6,500 people were arrested in Bulgaria after entering the country irregularly, a multiplication by three compared to the same period of 2020.
As a result, authorities have stressed that security along the Eastern European country’s border with Turkey needs to be stepped up, given the increase in illegal migrant crossings.
As police explain, there were 88 men on a North Macedonian bus, which was also driven by a 60-year-old Macedonian citizen. The same wagon was then stopped in the port city of Bourgas on the Black Sea. On the other hand, the other group of immigrants, which included 53 people, was found in a forest near Burgas.