100s of migrants stopped by Macedonian troops

2016-03-14 21:00
A child cries as migrants cross a river north of Idomeni, Greece, attempting to reach Macedonia on a route that would bypass the border fence. (Vadim Ghirda, AP)

A child cries as migrants cross a river north of Idomeni, Greece, attempting to reach Macedonia on a route that would bypass the border fence. (Vadim Ghirda, AP)

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Gevgelija - Hundreds of migrants were stopped by Macedonian soldiers after illegally crossing the border from Greece on Monday, an AFP correspondent at the scene reported.

About 20 journalists who accompanied the group on their march to find an alternative route into Macedonia after the country closed its borders were taken to a police station in the Macedonian town of Gevgelija, said the reporter, who was among them.

By walking through fields and crossing a river, the migrants managed to get around the barbed wire fence that has kept them from entering Macedonia since last week.

But the army surrounded the migrants and made them sit down, with the apparent goal of arranging for their return to Greece.

This was the first large-scale crossing at the border since the frontier was closed last week. Late last month about 300 protesters who tried to force their way into Macedonia were hit with tear gas by police.

More than 12 000 people have been stranded at the crossing in increasingly desperate conditions after the main migrant route to western Europe through the Balkans was effectively shut down last week.

Read more on:    greece  |  macedonia  |  migrants

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