In Greek city, Syrian refugees line up to get arrested

Migrants sleep outside police HQ in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki. Several hundred refugees and migrants have gathered outside a police station in Greece’s second largest city, waiting for hours to be formally arrested and gain temporary residence in the EU country. (AP Photo)
Updated 13 April 2018

In Greek city, Syrian refugees line up to get arrested

  • Police in northern Greece have reported a surge in illegal land crossings following Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria.
  • Refugees from Syria and other war-torn countries are usually granted the right to stay in Greece for at least 30 days.

Thessaloniki: Several hundred refugees and migrants have gathered outside a police station in Greece’s second largest city, waiting for hours to be formally arrested and gain temporary residence in the European Union country.
Families, including many from Syria, sat on the sidewalk outside the police building for hours Friday after crossing illegally from Turkey.
Police in northern Greece have reported a surge in illegal land crossings following Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria and capture of the town of Afrin from Kurdish fighters.
Among them was 24-year-old Mohammed Basil who fled Afrin with his wife and spent several days at a state-run hostel on the Greek-Turkish border before being allowed to leave and travel to Thessaloniki.
“We escaped from the war, and we have identification papers. Now we are waiting to be taken somewhere to stay,” Basil told The Associated Press.
The huge line formed for a second day as many slept on the ground outside the police building or looked for a nearby park to rest.
Most families are requesting placement at refugee camps around Greece that were set up after a European crackdown on migration two years ago. Refugees from Syria and other war-torn countries are usually granted the right to stay in Greece for at least 30 days.
Dimitris Beliakidis, a police spokesman, said there had been a spike in arrivals in the city over the last few days, coinciding with renewed tension in Syria over the possibility of western military intervention.
New arrivals have mostly crossed the Evros River, which forms a natural border between Greece and Turkey, as migrants mostly try to avoid the Greek islands where strict controls on movement have been imposed and refugee camps are overcrowded.


Taliban attack Afghan police base, 11 killed

Updated 28 January 2020

Taliban attack Afghan police base, 11 killed

KABUL, Afghanistan: Taliban militants attacked a police base in northern Afghanistan, killing 11, possibly with help from at least one of the policemen inside, local government officials said Tuesday.
The insurgents first overran a checkpoint near the base late Monday, and were apparently able to breach the compound with ease because a sympathetic policeman opened a door for them.
These details were provided by Mabobullah Ghafari, a provincial councilman in Baghlan province where the attack took place. A local police official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to brief reporters about the attack, also gave the same account.
Insider attacks have been steady throughout Afghanistan’s 18-year conflict, with US and NATO troops most often targeted. But when Afghan security forces are targeted, the casualty rate is often much higher.
Last July, two US service members were killed by an Afghan soldier in the southern Kandahar province. The shooter was wounded and arrested. In September, three US military personnel were wounded when a member of the Afghan Civil Order Police fired on a military convoy, also in Kandahar.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack on the outskirts of Puli Khumri, Baghlan’s provincial capital. But the Taliban have a strong presence in the province and frequently target Afghan security forces in and around the city.
Last September, the insurgents attacked Puli Khumri and blocked the city’s main highway to the capital Kabul for more than a week.
The Taliban currently control or hold sway over around half the country.
The US and the Taliban are currently attempting to negotiate a reduction in hostilities or a cease-fire. That would allow a peace agreement to be signed that could bring home an estimated 13,000 American troops, and open the way to a broader post-war deal for Afghans.