04:54 GMT03 April 2020
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    ATHENS (Sputnik) - Greek police and military have prevented almost 3,000 migrants from illegally crossing the border from Turkey, a source in the government told reporters on Friday, adding that eight illegal migrants had been arrested.

    "Eight people were arrested in the Evros area from 6.00 a.m. [04:00] Thursday to 6.00 a.m. Friday, including seven people from Afghanistan and one person from Syria; 2,867 attempts to illegally cross the border into Greece were prevented", the source said.

    The situation at the Greek-Turkish border at the Kastanies checkpoint remains tense.

    Media reported that in the early hours of Friday, a group of migrants from the Turkish side of the border threw tear gas grenades at the Greek side, and the Greek police deployed water cannons in response.

    Delegations of the Greek ruling New Democracy party and the Communist Party will arrive in Kastanies later in the day to make a firsthand assessment.

    Migrants at Turkey's Pazarkule border crossing with Greece's Kastanies, near Edirne
    Migrants at Turkey's Pazarkule border crossing with Greece's Kastanies, near Edirne

    The situation with migrants at the Greek-Turkish border escalated in late February after Ankara announced it had opened its border with the European Union to migrants and refugees following the recent increase in tensions in the Syrian province of Idlib. Soon after, thousands of migrants rushed to Turkey's border with Greece and Bulgaria to try to get into Europe.

    According to Turkey, one of the reasons for opening its borders to the EU was the lack of assistance from the bloc in dealing with the flow of migrants. Under the 2016 agreement between the two, Ankara promised to restrain the flow of migrants into the bloc, with Brussels pledging to provide funds to help Turkey care for the refugees.

    refugees, migration, migration, migration, migrants, migrants, EU borders, border, Turkey, Greece
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