Security forces in the the eastern province of Van captured 261 illegal migrants in operations Monday. The migrants were found hiding in four abandoned buildings in the İpekyolu district near the border with Iran and were believed to be intending to illegally cross into Turkey through a mountainous region between the two countries.
Authorities said 207 among them were Afghan nationals and another 52 were Pakistani citizens. Two others were identified as Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan nationals. They were taken to a migrant center in central Van for legal processing.
Van is among the provinces of eastern Turkey that commonly see influxes of migrants from Asian countries every year, particularly from Afghanistan, which suffers from Taliban attacks and economic challenges for millions. More than 100,000 Afghan illegal migrants and some 50,000 Pakistani migrants were intercepted by security forces last year according to the state-run Migration Directorate.
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