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Saturday, July 3, 1999 Published at 17:22 GMT 18:22 UK

World: Europe

Athens police in illegal immigrant crackdown

Police in the Greek capital Athens have detained more than a thousand people, most of them Albanian, in a drive against illegal immigration.

They were picked up at points all over the city and brought to a football stadium for a check on their papers.

Officials say those found to be in Greece illegally will be deported.

The operation follows a government decision to tighten border controls in an effort to stem an influx of nearly a million people in recent years.

The authorities believe about half of them are there illegally.

They're also being increasingly blamed by Greeks for a soaring crime rate in Athens and elsewhere.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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