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Officials: Turkey detains nearly 1,500 migrants near Iranian border

Captured Afghani migrants disembark from a Turkish coast guard boat in the morning on April 4, 2016 in the port of Dikili district in Izmir, after trying to cross to Greek island Lesbos. Greece sent a first wave of migrants back to Turkey on April 4 under an EU deal that has faced heavy criticism from rights groups. Under the agreement, designed to halt the main influx which comes from Turkey, all "irregular migrants" arriving since March 20 face being sent back, although the deal calls for each case to be examined individually. For every Syrian refugee returned, another Syrian refugee will be resettled from Turkey to the EU, with numbers capped at 72,000. / AFP / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)
Captured Afghani migrants disembark from a Turkish coast guard boat [OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images]

Turkish security forces have detained nearly 1,500 irregular migrants in the last week, most of them Afghans, near the southeastern border with Iran, officials said, amid rising violence in Afghanistan, Reuters reported.

The officials from a local governorate and the Interior Ministry said 1,456 migrants had been detained since July 10 near Mount Erek in eastern Van province, as well as 11 human traffickers who brought them into Turkey.

Concerns over a potential new influx of migrants into Turkey from Afghanistan, via Iran, have grown in recent weeks as violence between the Afghan government and the Taliban has surged as US and NATO forces withdraw.

Video footage has shown large groups of migrants in the border area, although the Turkish government says there has been no surge yet in numbers.

READ: Fleeing the Taliban, Afghans walk through Iran to reach Turkey

The UN refugee agency estimates 270,000 Afghans have been displaced inside the country since January, bringing the number of people forced from their homes to more than 3.5 million.

Foreign ministers of Turkey, Afghanistan and Iran discussed cooperation on security, energy, and migration last month but Turkish diplomatic sources say there is no specific mechanism between Ankara and Tehran to address migration from Afghanistan.

Turkey hosts more than 4 million refugees, the vast majority from Syria, and is the world's leading refugee host.

AfghanistanAsia & AmericasEurope & RussiaIranMiddle EastNewsTurkey
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