A migrant woman was accidentally shot and killed by police in North Macedonia during a struggle that broke out Wednesday as an officer tried to arrest a suspected smuggler, authorities said.
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The fatal shooting occurred during an inspection of two vehicles outside the town of Gevgelija, close to the country’s southern border with Greece.
Police said the shot was fired after the migrant smuggling suspect, identified only as a 26-year-old man, tried to snatch the officer’s handgun during the roadside inspection. The victim of the shooting died of chest wounds in a nearby hospital, medical officials said.
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A second smuggling suspect was arrested and seven other migrants were detained. Their nationalities were not immediately known.
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Migration along the so-called Balkan route, from Turkey to Greece and then on to North Macedonia and further northward toward western Europe, has picked up since travel restrictions imposed under the COVID-19 pandemic were lifted.