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30 May, 2024
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Determined man makes a run for it at Ledra crossing

Unwanted Turkish Cypriot gives border agent a piece of the action near divided island’s Green Line


A man was arrested on Tuesday near the Ledra crossing point in divided Nicosia, but little is known about the incident which ended up with Greek Cypriot officers who blocked his way to the south getting injured as he tried to make a run for it.

Cyprus Police said a 29-year-old male was arrested on Tuesday late afternoon after he ran from the UN buffer zone into the southern part of the capital, through the Ledras Street crossing point.

According to a police incident report, the man, whose nationality was not included in the statement, walked up to the Greek Cypriot checkpoint around 3:30pm with the intent to cross from north to south but officers denied his request.

“When an immigration officer checked his details through a database, it was determined that he did not have the right to enter the free areas,” the statement said.

The newly hired border agents have been trained to carry out immigration inspections, forced turnarounds, and on-the-spot deportations near the Green Line

But it was not clear whether the man initially walked from the north or was already in the south before finding himself inside the buffer zone, where UN peacekeepers had been alerted to the situation.

Police, who said an investigation into the incident has been launched by Nicosia Central Station, suggested the man walked back into the UN buffer zone after being denied entry at the checkpoint and remained there for some time before making a run for it around 5pm.

But Knews has learned that the man had been in the south and tried to re-enter after being forced into the buffer zone.

“At one point, he ran towards the checkpoint to gain access to the free areas,” police said, adding that three officers got injured when they tried to block his way.

A fourth officer, who went after the suspect, managed to apprehend the man on an adjacent street, arresting him for assaulting an officer and illegal entry.

Knews understands two police officers and one border agent were among those injured during the incident. 

Border agents, who have been hired by the interior ministry recently, work together with police to patrol areas near the buffer zone, also known as Green Line.

The newly-hired border agents have been trained to carry out immigration inspections, forced turnarounds, and on-the-spot deportations near the Green Line, which separates the island between a recognized Greek Cypriot south and a Turkish Cypriot north not recognized by other countries except Turkey.

Police told Knews the suspect was not an asylum seeker while additional media reports described him as a man of Turkish origin.

It is not clear whether the man, believed to be Turkish Cypriot, is expected to face charges in the Republic of Cyprus or be asked to leave the jurisdiction.

Cyprus  |  Nicosia  |  Ledra  |  crossing point  |  UN buffer zone  |  checkpoint  |  Greek  |  Turkish  |  Cypriot  |  border agent  |  immigration  |  deportation  |  police  |  interior ministry

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