Bulgarian police have instructed hunters near the southeastern border with Turkey to be extremely careful to avoid shooting migrants crossing forests en route to northern Europe, the hunting union said Thursday.
"Hunters in the region of Burgas were alerted about the need to be extremely careful because of the possibility of coming upon illegal migrants during outings," union chief secretary Vasil Vasilev told AFP.
"Hunters were reminded that they must not shoot at an unclear target or in the direction of noise heard in the forest because it might be people and not game they are aiming at," he said.
"If they were to register any human presence, they were told to immediately stop the hunting and call the police."
Last Saturday, a party of 19 hunters out near the border village of Evrenozovo intercepted a group of some 50 migrants and turned them over to the authorities, Vasilev added.
In recent months, the southeastern region around Burgas has seen an increasing number of migrants crossing illegally from Turkey.
Hunters and shepherds from the regions bordering Turkey told local media they often stumble upon traces of migrant camps in the forests.
Last week, an Afghan man was shot dead by border guards near the town of Sredets in what police said was an accidental killing.