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Austria searches freight trains in illegal migration crackdown

Saturday, December 17, 2016 - 01:17

Austrian police have started searching freight trains traveling from Italy at night to tackle illegal migration and avert further deaths after two stowaways died earlier this month. Ashraf Fahim reports.

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Austrian police scour train cars and tracks, looking for migrant stowaways. They say they're trying to stem the flow illegal migrants after a man and woman from Eritrea hidden on a train were crushed to death earlier this month. Austria's Tyrol province has been a way station for migrants headed for Western Europe. Migrants are braving freezing temperatures to hitch a ride across the Alps to Germany. Police spokesman Manfred Dummer says they're picking up their patrols. (SOUNDBITE) (German) TIROL POLICE SPOKESMAN, MANFRED DUMMER, SAYING: "We have observed the phenomenon of illegal migrants coming from Italy trying to continue their journey northwards in this way. Therefore we have intensified our controls together with Austrian Federal Railways." Officials say they're trying to prevent another disaster after 71 dead migrants were found locked in a bus in August 2015. But Austria has cracked down hard on illegal immigration, helping to shut down the so-called Balkan route used by refugees fleeing war. That's pushed many to take the more perilous journey across in flimsy boats across the Mediterranean, where thousands have perished this year alone.

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Austria searches freight trains in illegal migration crackdown

Saturday, December 17, 2016 - 01:17