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Migrants: the EU calls an emergency summit to tackle the Balkan bottleneck

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Migrants: the EU calls an emergency summit to tackle the Balkan bottleneck


Thousands head across the fields from Berkasovo-Bapska

Around 3,500 refugees and migrants have spent the night camped out in the open at the Berkasovo-Bapska border crossing between Serbia and Croatia.

The Croatian government has closed its border to limit the numbers entering the country.

At first light on Wednesday, thousands bypassed the official border crossing and made their way across muddy fields to Croatia.

Juncker calls EU emergency mini-summit

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has called an extraordinary meeting of a number of European leaders to take place in Brussels this coming Sunday.

In a statement, the Commission says it has invited the leaders of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia to attend.

The aim is to map out a coordinated response to the crisis, the worst in Europe has faced since the Second World War.

Opatovac transit camp

The Croatian authorities estimate 4,200 people are sheltering in a transit camp at Opatovac.

From here, buses will transport them to the Slovenian border or the nearest train station at Tovarnik from where they can continue their journey.

The majority are hoping to make it to Austria and Germany.

More than a thousand men, women and children have already been transported by train from Croatia to the country’s border with Slovenia.

They headed across open fields to cross the border on foot.

Left to navigate the unfamiliar terrain on their own in the dark, some waded through the Sutla river.

Aid agencies are concerned about the backlog of refugees and migrants in the Balkans, particularly as conditions and the weather deteriorate going into winter.

Refugees arrive in Cyprus for the first time

Two boatloads of refugees have come ashore at a British military base on Cyprus.

This is the first time since the crisis began that refugees have landed directly on what is considered British sovereign soil.

The vessels, carrying around 140 people, were spotted in the early hours of Wednesday off RAF Akrotiri.

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