Scores of refugees -- most likely fleeing war-ravaged Syria -- are believed to have died by suffocating inside a truck abandoned yesterday on an Austrian highway, the CNN website reports today (August 28, 2015).
Sixty of the 71 victims were men. Eight women died, as did three children, ages 2, 3, and 8. Police have arrested three Bulgarians and an Afghan citizen in connection with the truck.
"We are talking about human trafficking, homicide, even murder," said Johann Fuchs, an Austrian state prosecutor. He added, "We are looking at a Bulgarian-Hungarian people smuggling ring."
News of the deaths comes as Europe is struggling to deal with a record swell of migrants and refugees traveling by land and sea to find a better life or escape conflict at home in the Middle East and Africa.