The Latest: N. Macedonia police ram car, 2 migrants injured

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — The Latest on migrants in Europe (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

Authorities say two Afghan migrants were severely injured when police in North Macedonia intentionally crashed into a car allegedly smuggling the pair through the country.

Police said officers were trying to stop the car North Macedonia’s northern border with Serbia on Wednesday. They say the driver ran off and two injured men were found inside the damaged car.

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Police on Wednesday also stopped a van near the Serbian border that had 15 people from Bangladesh inside. The passengers allegedly entered North Macedonia illegally from Greece. The van driver was arrested.

The number of migrants caught entering North Macedonia illegally has increased 20% so far this year. Despite border closures in the Balkans, some migrants hope to travel through Serbia toward Europe’s prosperous heartland.

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11:55 a.m.

Greek authorities say eight migrants have been injured, two of them seriously, in a car crash on a highway in northern Greece.

Police said Thursday that a vehicle being driven by a 28-year-old Greek man crashed into a stationary car carrying eight men from Pakistan and Bangladesh. All nine involved in the accident near the northern city of Komotini were injured, and two of the migrants were in serious condition.

No smuggler was found, authorities said.

Hundreds of migrants and refugees cross the land border between Greece and Turkey each month. Many are then transported by smugglers, crammed into cars and trucks, to northern Greek towns and cities.

Last month, six migrants were killed and another 10 were injured when the jeep they were in crashed into an irrigation ditch.

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