Serbian police arrest two over migrants found dead in Paraguay

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BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbian police arrested two men on Thursday on suspicion they had helped illegally transport seven migrants whose decomposed bodies were later found inside a fertilizer shipment in Paraguay.

The badly decomposed bodies of seven men were found earlier this month in a Paraguay port inside a shipment of fertilizer that left Serbia three months earlier.

The number of migrants following the so-called Balkan route to enter western Europe has dwindled since 2016, when around a million people are believed to have made the journey.

European countries have tightened border controls since then.

In a statement, Serbia's Interior Ministry said that one Moroccan and one Algerian national, identified only by initials H.M. and S.K. had been charged with aiding seven migrants "whose remains were found in a shipping container in Paraguay" to illegally cross the border between Serbia and Croatia.

"They are suspected of plotting with other unidentified persons to place migrants in a railroad transport container to help them avoid border controls," the statement said.

No charges were laid relating to the men's deaths.

Currently around 6,000 migrants, mainly from the Middle East and central Asia, remain stuck in Serbia, mostly in 16 government-operated camps.

Every day dozens of people attempt to cross illegally into Croatia or Hungary en route to western Europe, some using networks of people traffickers.

(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Toby Chopra)