BITLIS, Turkey

Forty irregular migrants have been held in eastern Turkey, and a person suspected of smuggling them was arrested, said local officials Friday.

The migrants were found in a truck in Adilcevaz, a town on the shores of Lake Van, said the Bitlis Provincial Governorship.

The migrants are said to have illegally entered the country – likely from Iran, to the east – with transportation allegedly arranged by M.B., the suspected human smuggler.

A search of M.B. found an illegal pistol and six bullets.

The irregular migrants will be sent to the Van province migration management office.

Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

* Written by Ahmet Gencturk in Ankara

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