AP

Serbia police detain 85 migrants; weapons seized in raid

Jul 13, 2022, 3:11 PM | Updated: Jul 14, 2022, 4:45 am

In this photo provided by the Serbian Minstry of Interior, a group of migrants detained by Serbian ...

In this photo provided by the Serbian Minstry of Interior, a group of migrants detained by Serbian gendarme officers put their hands on their heads, near Subotica, Northern Serbia, Wednesday, July 13, 2022. Authorities in Serbia have detained 85 migrants near the border with Hungary, where a clash earlier this month apparently involving people smugglers left one person dead and several injured. (Serbian Ministry of Interior via AP)

(Serbian Ministry of Interior via AP)

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Authorities in Serbia on Thursday detained 85 migrants near the border with Hungary where a clash earlier this month apparently involving people smugglers left one person dead and several injured.

A police task force found automatic weapons, guns, knives and other weapons and ammunition during the sweep in the northern town of Subotica, police said in a statement.

Criminal charges have been filed against two migrants and six have been arrested, while the rest are suspected of less serious offenses, the statement said.

“No criminal gang will be exist without being uncovered and dismantled and its members punished according to law,” said Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin. “No one can carry guns in Serbia and no one can traffic in people.”

Vulin added that police have stepped up their operations in areas where smuggling gangs are active.

“Serbia won’t allow our way of life to be jeopardized in any way by criminals who profit on human misery and hardship,” he said.

Police described the operation as an “action designed to curb criminal acts and offenses committed by migrants.”

The raid followed a major clash by groups of migrants in the border area in early July that left one person dead and several injured. Migrants gather by the Hungarian border hoping to cross from the Balkan country and move further west.

Sneaking over Serbia’s northern border with the European Union neighbor often takes months because Hungary has put up two rows of barbed wire fence and deployed heavy security to stop migration. Migrants therefore often turn to people smugglers in order to continue their journey toward the EU’s more prosperous nations.

The Serbian police statement said that special police and counterterrorism unit members, along with state security agents took part in the task force that carried out the operation early Thursday.

Police photos from the scene showed fully equipped officers wearing bulletproof vests and helmets standing guard over a group of migrants kneeling in a field with their hands over their heads.

Migrants fleeing wars, violence or poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia routinely face perils on their long journeys toward better lives. From Serbia, migrants also cross into Croatia, Bosnia or Romania.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of migration issues at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Photo: President Joe Biden speaks at a news conference following the NATO Summit in Washington, Thu...

Zeke Miller, Seung Min Kim, Lisa Mascaro and Colleen Long, The Associated Press

Biden says during news conference he’s going to ‘complete the job’ despite calls to bow out

Biden used his highly anticipated news conference to deliver a defense of his policies and batted away questions about his ability to serve.

3 days ago

Photo: Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani talks to reporters as he leaves the federal courthouse i...

Associated Press

Judge says Rudy Giuliani bankruptcy case likely to be dismissed. But his debts aren’t going away

A judge said he was leaning toward throwing out Rudy Giuliani's bankruptcy case. A dismissal would end his pursuit of bankruptcy protection.

4 days ago

biden democrats...

Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press

Biden tells Hill Democrats he ‘declines’ to step aside and says it’s time for party drama ‘to end’

President Joe Biden stood firm against calls for him to drop his candidacy and called for an "end" to the intraparty drama.

6 days ago

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Actor Martin Mull attends FOX Hosts "The Cool Kids" Outdoor Scree...

ANDREW DALTON, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Comedic actor Martin Mull, star of ‘Roseanne,’ ‘Arrested Development,’ dies at 80

Martin Mull, whose droll, esoteric comedy and acting made him a hip sensation in the 1970s and a frequent guest star of sitcoms, has died.

15 days ago

In this photo provided by NASA, Boeing Crew Flight Test astronauts Butch Wilmore, left, and Suni Wi...

By ADITHI RAMAKRISHNAN, AP Science Writer

Astronauts will stay at the space station longer for more troubleshooting of Boeing capsule

Two NASA astronauts will stay longer at the International Space Station as engineers troubleshoot problems on Boeing’s new space capsule.

16 days ago

moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

24 days ago

Serbia police detain 85 migrants; weapons seized in raid