Many migrants leave Serbian border with Hungary, head to Croatia

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 17, 2015 6:17 AM

By Ivana Sekularac

HORGOS, Serbia (Reuters) - Hundreds of migrants have left Serbia's northern border with Hungary by bus bound for Croatia, emptying makeshift camps created after European Union-member Hungary sealed its frontier.

A day after violent clashes between migrants and Hungarian police along the border line, a Reuters reporter said the area had significantly emptied as many migrants gave up trying to enter Hungary and turned to Serbia's western neighbor Croatia, a member of the EU.

An official with the Serbian transport company Lasta said it had taken 500 people from the area to the Serbian border town of Sid near Croatia since Wednesday night. Others were queuing for buses on Thursday.

"I'm going to Croatia. Here the border is closed," said a man who gave his name as Abed and said he was from the devastated Syrian city of Homs. "Maybe the border to Croatia is open, maybe it is closed, but we are going to try."

Croatia said more than 5,000 had crossed from Serbia since Wednesday morning, stretching its resources and putting Slovenia next in line to confront a crisis in which hundreds of thousands of people have come from the Middle East, Africa and Asia to Europe's shores.

Hungary on Tuesday sealed its southern frontier, the EU's external border, with tough new laws under which asylum seekers have been rejected in quick succession and those that try to illegally cross the fence have been arrested, tried and expelled.

(Writing by Matt Robinson, Editing by Timothy Heritage)