Two Turkish migrant smugglers in a boat on the Evros River carrying illegal migrants opened fire twice on a five-member team of Greek police and Frontex officers early Friday and sped back towards Turkey. No one was injured in the incident. According to police, a Frontex patrol plane electronically spotted, at 11:15 Thursday night, a group of approximately 50 non-legal migrants on the Turkish coast across from the islet of Antas in the Tycheros area of Evros prefecture, apparently waiting to be transported across to Greece.
The police illegal migrants squad was immediately alerted, and three Greek police officers and two German frontex officers were dispatched to the southern and northern part of the islet, which on the Greek side is accessible by foot.
Over the next few hours the Turkish migrant smugglers made no effort to cross the Evros, but at 10:30 on Friday morning an inflatable boat with the two smugglers headed to the islet and, when it reached a distance of 100 meters from the islet, the two smugglers opened fire on the two Greek policemen patrolling the northern part of Antas and returned to the Turkish coast.
The police officers immediately alerted the Alexandroupolis police headquarters, which in turn contacted the Turkish police authorities in Edirne, while the coordinates of the site of the incident was provided in order for the Turkish authorities to take action.
While the contacts between the Greek and Turkish authorities were underway, a second boat headed to the southern part of the islet and opened fire a second time against the third Greek police officer and two German frontex officers patrolling the area, and sped back to the Turkish coast.
After the second incident, the five Greek and German officers on the islet were ordered to distance themselves from the site.
According to later information, the Turkish authorities detained 99 non-legal migrants on the Turkish coast opposite the site of the incident, and were investigating whether one or more of the detainees are migrant smugglers.
Over the past two months, and following the enhancement of patrols in the northern part of Evros prefecture (in the areas of Orestiada and Didimoticho) with Frontex teams, the migrant smugglers have turned their focus to the southern section of Evros prefecture, chiefly in the areas of Soufli, Tycheros and Ferres.