BITLIS, Turkey

At least 53 irregular migrants were held in eastern Turkey, local authorities said on Wednesday.

Provincial gendarmerie command in Bitlis province conducted an operation in Adilcevaz district, where they found the migrants inside a truck, the provincial governorate said in a statement.

The migrants, including 49 Afghans, three Bangladeshis and one Pakistani, illegally entered Turkey, the statement added.

A suspected smuggler was arrested, it said.

The security forces will continue their fight against crime and criminals with the support of the people to ensure peace and security in the region, it added.

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. 

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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