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Aug 21, 12:23 PM EDT

The Latest: Greek police pick up migrants dumped on highway


BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) -- The Latest on Europe's migrant crisis (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

Greek authorities say they have found 53 refugees and migrants - including 24 minors - walking along a northern highway after a smuggler dumped them on the roadside.

Police said Monday the group consisted of 41 Iraqis, five Afghans, five Eritreans and two Syrians.

They were found early Sunday about 20 kilometers (12 miles) northeast of Thessaloniki, Greece's second-largest city, and said they had paid a smuggling gang ?2,000 ($2,300) each to be driven there in a truck from the Turkish border. But the truck driver abandoned them on the highway and drove off.

Also Monday, Greek police at a border crossing with Turkey arrested a Turkish truck driver allegedly found carrying four Afghan migrants into Greece in his vehicle.

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12:15 p.m.

Romanian border police have detained 24 Syrian and Iraqi migrants on suspicion of trying to illegally cross the border. They told police they were trying to reach the visa-free Schengen zone.

Border police said in a statement that they stopped a truck overnight Sunday near Nadlac, a town in western Romanian near the border with Hungary. They found eight men, three women and 13 minors aged 2 to 16 inside the truck who they took for questioning.

The statement Monday said most of the migrants were asylum-seekers in Romania. The truck was driven by a Romanian man who police are investigating for trafficking migrants.

Police are investigating the migrants on suspicion of illegally trying to cross the border.

Hungary is a member of Schengen, but Romania isn't.

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