A Moroccan migrant who was injured by gunfire while crossing from Turkey into Greece Thursday is being hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries, Greek officials said.
A police statement said the 30-year-old man was found trying to cross the river Evros — Meric in Turkish — that runs along the land border, in a small boat with two other men. He had a gunshot wound in the back, apparently inflicted by somebody on the Turkish side.
The boat reached the Greek side, where the man was taken to hospital. The other two were uninjured. Greek police said the Moroccan man told them he had been shot by the Turkish gendarmerie. But they added that they were examining every possibility as to who had fired at him from the Turkish side — including whether migrant-smugglers might have been involved.
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The river, on Greece’s northeastern border with Turkey, is a major crossing point for people trying to surreptitiously enter Greece.
Earlier this week, Greek officials held a series of high-level contacts with the newly elected Turkish government in an effort to counter a surge in attempted crossings.
Patrols along the Greek bank of the river have been intensified following a recent drop in the water level that makes migrant crossings easier.