Thessaloniki, Greece ( Associated Press) — A man was swept away and drowned and a woman went missing after a group of migrants trekked through the hills of northern Greece to escape police patrols amid thunderstorms on Wednesday.
Police said the body of the Iranian man was found by rescuers responding to an emergency call by another Iranian man who was with the group and left behind to help the two. Efforts to locate the missing woman were to continue on Thursday in an area 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of the Greek city of Thessaloniki.
Police said the migrants had entered Greece illegally from Turkey, and were believed to have been taken to the region by smugglers, who left them to make their way to Thessaloniki. It was not clear how many people were in the group, who moved on after the accident.
Severe rain and snowfall is affecting northern and central Greece, with temperatures near freezing. Gale-force winds kept most of the Greek island ferries confined to the port on Wednesday.
Greece is a major entry point for people from the Middle East, Asia and Africa in search of a better life in the European Union. Most enter from neighboring Turkey, either crossing the northeastern land border or trapped in smuggled boats headed for the eastern Aegean Sea islands.
Recently, smuggling gangs have been ferrying migrants into boats from Turkey to Italy. Last month dozens of migrants were killed in several accidents in the central Aegean.
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