Hundreds of illegal migrants heading for the European Union were intercepted by Serbian authorities this week, according to reports.
Officers were deployed to round up "several hundred" migrants in northern Serbia, the Ministry of Internal Affairs announced on Monday.
The migrants were transported to asylum centers around the country, Radio Slobodna Evropa reports.
Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin said the primary aim of the mission was to "curb smuggling gangs" and "send a clear message that they will be discovered and arrested in Serbia."
Serbia "will not be a parking lot for migrants," Vulin vowed.
The sweeping operation was reportedly carried out in the vicinities of Kikinda, Subotica and Sombor, cities located near Serbia's borders with Hungary, Romania, and Croatia.
Thousands of migrants are currently living in reception centers around Serbia, and hundreds more are entering the country every day.
"According to estimates, between 50 and 100 people have been entering Serbia from North Macedonia on a daily basis, while the inflow is somewhat higher from Bulgaria, which is a new trend," Asylum Protection Center Director Rados Djurovic told BETA Briefing.
Some 40 police officers from the Czech Republic were sent to Hungary this week to help defend the exterior border of the European Union.
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