Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) local police discovered forty-one illegal migrants on Wednesday late night on the streets of two cities located in northern BiH, some 35 kilometers from the Croatian Border.
A total of twenty-eight illegal migrants were found on the territory of Gradiska, a city located some 270 kilometers northwest of the capital Sarajevo, Gradiska Police Station press office said in a statement on Thursday.
“The largest number of migrants came from Syria (13), five from Algeria, four from Morocco, three from Pakistan, two from Palestine and one from Libya. The migrants found were handed over to the members of the Gradiska Border Police Unit,” the statement reads.
In Derventa, a city located some 190 kilometers northwest of the capital Sarajevo, police officers identified thirteen illegal migrants walking in one of the streets. After the interrogation, police officers determined that twelve adults and one child were citizens of Iraq, Palestine and Syria. Illegal migrants will be handed over to BiH Service for Foreigners’ Affairs (SPS), a press statement by Doboj Police Station reads.
All illegal migrants discovered on Wednesday night entered BiH from neighboring Serbia and Montenegro earlier. During the interrogation, they stated their aim is to enter Croatia and continue to other European Union (EU) countries.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants passed through the so-called “Balkan route” in 2015, trying to reach Western Europe. BiH was then not part of that route.
However, migrants have turned to BiH in recent months, trying to avoid more heavily-guarded routes and borders in the Balkans. More than 9,000 migrants have entered BiH since the beginning of this year, out of which 6,000 have already left, Security Minister Dragan Mektic revealed on Wednesday.