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2 irregular migrants dead in SE Turkey after suspected smuggler runs security checkpoint

58 irregular migrants who hid in a trailer and entered the country illegally, caught by the police in Erzincan, Turkey on September 02, 2020 [Kemal Özdemir/Anadolu Agency]
58 irregular migrants who hid in a trailer and entered the country illegally, caught by the police in Erzincan, Turkey on September 02, 2020 [Kemal Özdemir/Anadolu Agency]

Two irregular migrants lost their lives and 12 were injured in southeastern Turkey during a gun battle after a suspected human smuggler ran a security checkpoint, the local governor's office reported on Sunday, reports Anadolu Agency.

According to a statement, around midnight Saturday (2100GMT) authorities were tipped off that there was a suspicious vehicle headed towards the town of Begendik in Pervari in the Siirt province.

About an hour later, when the gendarmerie command ordered the truck to stop at a checkpoint at Begendik Bridge, the driver disobeyed and sped up. When gunfire erupted from the truck, the security personnel returned fire.

READ: At least 20 die as migrant boat sinks off Tunisia

After the incident, 84 irregular migrants – Afghan and Pakistan nationals – were located in the truck, including two dead and 12 injured.

The injured were taken to the state hospital in Pervari and later some went to the Siirt Training and Research Hospital.

The driver, identified as R.E, was caught after running away, and an operation is underway to find the irregular migrants who fled the scene. Prosecutors in Pervari launched an investigation.

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