Hungary intercepts truck with 30 migrants – after firing shots

Hungarian police have fired several gunshots at a truck carrying about 30 hidden passengers presumed to be irregular migrants. The vehicle drove through a checkpoint at the country’s border with Austria without stopping when police tried to intervene. Police say that patrol officials at the Hungarian border village of Harka spotted the truck driving at speed towards the crossing.

An officer reportedly signalled to the vehicle that it needed to stop for checks. When the truck accelerated instead of slowing, the officer was forced to jump out of its path. According to official reports, this is when another officer fired shots in a bid to force the vehicle to change direction.

One arrest, 30 clandestine passengers

The truck, which reportedly had a Hungarian number plate, drove across the border and then broke down. 

Austrian police detained the driver, who was reported to be an Egyptian national. Some 30 passengers of undisclosed nationalities were found in the back of the truck, Hungarian police said. According to Reuters citing police data, Hungarian authorities actively turned back up to 2,500 migrants at the country’s southern border with Serbia and Romania per week during the last few weeks of 2021.

A fence along the country’s border with Serbia was built in 2015 to stop migrants from entering Hungary.

As the first EU member state along the Balkan route (alongside Croatia), Hungary fears that if it were to let migrants in to travel further west into the European Union, EU law would lumber Hungary with having to take care of migrants and refugees transiting through its territory.

With Reuters