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Nearly 70 irregular migrants held in Turkey

At least 68 irregular migrants, including children, were held across Turkey, security sources said on Wednesday.

Forty-two migrants -- all were Syrian nationals -- were rounded up in Altinozu district of the southern province of Hatay, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media.

Separately, in Hendek town of western Sakarya province, 26 irregular migrants from Pakistan and Afghanistan were rounded up when the police stopped the bus heading to Istanbul.

Police also arrested the two drivers and the assistant in the bus, whom were later remanded in custody.

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

Among the migrants held in 2017 in Turkey, the majority came from Pakistan -- around 15,000 -- followed by Afghans at around 12,000. Syrians totaled about 10,000. There has been a 60 percent increase in migrant flow since 2016. The number was 31,000 in 2016.