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Serbia: Migrants die in shooting near Hungary border

October 27, 2023

A shootout between migrants at an abandoned warehouse complex has left three people dead and one person seriously injured. It came in an area known to be used by people smugglers.

The border fence between Hungary and Serbia
Serbian police have raided the border area on several occasions over the past several monthsImage: InfoMigrants

Three migrants died in a shootout near Serbia's border with Hungary on Friday.

Criminal gangs have been fighting for control of the area along an EU entry route used by smuggling rings.

What we know about the shooting

A gunbattle took place between migrants in an abandoned warehouse complex in a village called Horgos.

Serbian media reported that it was not clear who had initiated the shooting that also left another person seriously injured.

A number of officers attended the scene but the police are yet to release a statement.

How Hungary has reacted

Hungary told leaders at the EU summit on Friday in Brussels they need to act quickly to end migration in the area from continuing.

Government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said Hungary's previous warnings to the EU over "the rising rate of violence and terror committed by migrant gangs" has apparently fallen on deaf ears.

"I think it should be high time for Brussels to realize, it’s not quotas and migrant camps we need, but a quick and organized effort to protect our borders, and ensure the safety of our citizens," Kovacs said on social media platform X, formerly know as Twitter.

Why are migrants trying to cross from Serbia to Hungary?

People smugglers operate heavily on the border between Serbia and European Union member Hungary.

Reports of violence and gunbattles are common in the area, as migrants look for a route into the EU.

In September, two people died in similar confrontations, with one being fatally shot in a busy department store's car park in the centre of the border town of Subotica.

Hungary’s government has put up a razor wire fence on their frontier with Serbia in an attempt to stop the flow of migration.

Fact check: Myths human traffickers tell refugees and migrants

km/lo (Reuters, AFP, AP)