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14 dead as train strikes migrants in Macedonia

They were using an increasingly-used all-land route to get to the West.

By Ed Adamczyk
14 dead as train strikes migrants in Macedonia
A train struck of group of migrants in Macedonia late Thursday, April 23, 2015 killing at least 14. Photo courtesy of Macedonia.

SKOPJE, Macedonia, April 24 (UPI) -- At least 14 migrants walking through Macedonia on their way to Western Europe, were struck by a train and killed, the country's state television reported.

They were part of a group of about 50, believed to be from Somalia and Afghanistan, walking a well-known route near the Macedonian city of Veles and using railroad tracks as a guide. Local media said they had arrived in Greece and begun walking north when they were struck late Thursday. Like those who attempt to cross to Europe by the Mediterranean Sea, an increasing number of migrants, fleeing war, poverty and political repression in the Middle East and Africa, are using a safer, all-land route through Turkey, Greece, Macedonia and Serbia to Western Europe.

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Rescue efforts were slowed by difficult terrain, and the train driver claimed he sounded an alarm after he saw the group on the tracks. The train was traveling from Belgrade, Serbia, to Thessaloniki, Greece.

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