ANTALYA, Turkey

At least 175 irregular migrants and 11 human smugglers were held in the southern Turkish province of Antalya, security sources said on Sunday.

Acting on a tip-off, provincial gendarmerie teams, aided by the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), rounded up the migrants who were hiding inside trucks in Kemer district before embarking on a journey by sea.

Those held were nationals of Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bangladesh, Palestine, Pakistan, Iran and Egypt. Of the total, 37 were infants and children.

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

*Writing by Ahmet Gencturk in Ankara

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