SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria is deploying 350 troops and 40 army vehicles along its southern border with Turkey to help border police deal with a growing migrant influx, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday.
The troops will conduct joint patrols along the 259-kilometer (161-mile) border with Turkey. They also will repair the partly damaged barbed-wire fence that was erected five years ago to prevent migrants, mainly from Syria, from illegally crossing the border from Turkey into the European Union nation.
This year has seen a threefold increase of the number of detained illegal migrants compared to the same period last year, according to Interior Ministry data.
The Balkan country of 7 million is located on a major route for migrants from the Mideast and Afghanistan to Europe. Only a small number of them plan to stay in the EUs poorest member, using Bulgaria instead as a transit corridor on their way westward.
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