Slovenia Rescues 13 Migrants From Suffocating in People Smuggler’s Truck

A pedestrian is checked by police in the main square, deserted, due to the COVID-19 restrictive measures in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. Slovenia has introduced a nationwide overnight curfew in an effort to control the spread of the new coronavirus. (AP Photo)
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LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) – Police in Slovenia have discovered 13 migrants from Iraq, including two children, who were hidden in a cargo truck, suffering from dehydration and a lack of oxygen.

Some of the migrants needed medical attention after they were found on Tuesday during a routine check at the border with Croatia, police in Novo Mesto said Wednesday.

The group had traveled for several hours from Bosnia and through Croatia, crammed in an airless, secret compartment inside a truck bearing Bosnian license plates, the police statement said.

The migrants were dehydrated and scared and some were already losing consciousness. They were given first aid on the spot while two people had to be taken to a nearby hospital.

The incident highlights dangers migrants face while trying to reach Western Europe, often with the help of ruthless smugglers. Thousands of people fleeing war and poverty in their countries have been stuck in Bosnia and the rest of the Balkans while seeking to move west.

The Slovenian police statement said the children in the truck were 11 and 6 years old. Police have detained the Bosnian truck driver and another person who was also in the truck.

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