UPDATE – Nearly 200 irregular migrants held across Turkey

MORE MIGRANTS HELD; EDITS THROUGHOUT

By Huseyin Yildiz, Abdullah Ozkul and Mehmet Yavas

IGDIR, CANAKKALE, MUGLA, Turkey (AA) – Turkish security forces held 199 irregular migrants throughout Turkey on Thursday.

Gendarme sources told Anadolu Agency that they held 148 irregular migrants in the eastern Turkish province of Igdir.

Security forces held 88 Afghan, 41 Pakistani, five Iranian, two Syrian, seven Iraqi and five Turkmenistan citizens.

Six suspects were arrested for human smuggling.

Earlier on Thursday, at least 51 migrants were held across Turkey, security sources said.

In the northwestern province of Canakkale's Ayvacik district, a total of 41 Afghan nationals, including women and children, were previously rounded up by coast guards, said a security source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The migrants were planning to cross into the Greek island of Lesbos.

Separately, 10 irregular migrants of Palestinian and Syrian nationals were previously held in a speedboat off the Turgutreis coast in the Bodrum district of western Mugla province.

All of the migrants were referred to provincial migration offices.

Turkey has been a main route for irregular migrants trying to cross into Europe, especially since 2011 when the Syrian civil war began.

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