Five migrants and a Greek motorist were killed in a car crash on a highway near the border between Greece and Turkiye on Saturday, police said.
The car, carrying 10 migrants, was traveling at a high speed on the wrong side to avoid a police checkpoint and slammed into a four-wheel drive, the 46-year-old driver of which was also killed, the police said.
The other five migrants — whose nationalities were not immediately clear — and the driver of their vehicle were taken to hospital after sustaining injuries, the police added.
Thousands of migrants have in recent years transited into Greece from Turkiye in the hope of making it to western Europe.
With the stepping up of patrols in the Aegean Sea making it harder for migrants to reach Greek islands more are taking their chances by crossing the River Evros, a natural mainland border, and having traffickers take them from there by road.
Recently there have been an increasing number of accidents similar to that of Saturday.
NGOs have meanwhile been accusing Greece of illegal pushbacks — which Athens denies — of asylum seekers who make it across the river.
In an effort to reduce the flow of migrants, conservative Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis two weeks ago called on the EU to “seriously consider” providing financial aid to help extend an anti-migrant steel fence along the border with Turkiye.
Athens has decided to extend by 35km a five-meter high steel fence which runs along the river.
The fence is currently 38 km long, and Athens aims to carry out the extension within a year, adding a total of 100 km by 2026.