Macedonian police say at least 14 migrants, believed to be from Afghanistan and Somalia, have died after being hit by a train as they walked along the tracks at night.

Police said Friday that the accident occurred at around 10:30 p.m. (2030 GMT) Thursday night near the central Macedonian town of Veles, as the migrants followed the tracks to head north. The train was an express passenger train travelling from the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki to the Serbian capital of Belgrade.

Tens of thousands of migrants and refugees attempt to reach the more prosperous central and western European countries by heading from Turkey to nearby Greek islands, then either try to sneak onto Italy-bound ferries, or head overland through Macedonia.