At least 29 people were detained including a suspected “terrorist” after some of the worst violence seen between police and migrants at Hungary’s now shut EU frontier.
Violence could have been avoided
The use of water cannon and teargas has been widely criticised by both Serbia’s prime minister who said it was “brutal” and “non-European” behaviour, while Montserrat Feixas Vihé of the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) said she was shocked:
“I’m extremely distressed because you know to see people who have been injured, to see children crying because they’re separated from their parents. People we know who have been separated from they’re families, who you know have been hurt. So it’s extremely distressing to us especially because we think that the degree of violence could have been avoided.”
Hungary’s decision this week to shut the EU’s external border with Serbia is the most forceful attempt yet by a European country to reduce the flood of refugees.
During the clashes as migrants tried to break the barriers scores were injured along with Hungarian police officers.
The closure of Hungary’s border which is to remain shut for the next 30 days means refugees are opting to go via Croatia.
An estimated 1300 arrived in the Croatian town of Tovarnik on Wednesday night.
There are reports of hundreds of people traipsing across fields. Croatia is sending experts to its frontier to identify minefields left over from the Balkan wars.
The government has offered to give the migrants food and shelter and to register them but most appear headed for Germany which cut off trains from Austria yesterday to slow the flow of arrivals.