Desperate migrants storm fence on FYROM border

Desperate migrants storm fence on FYROM border
By Catherine Hardy with Reuters
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260 injured, "dangerous and deplorable" - Greek government

  • Tension spills over at FYROM border
  • Tear gas, rubber bullets are “dangerous and deplorable” – Greek government
  • Thousands stranded in the camp at Idomeni

What has happened?

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Macedonian police have used tear gas to push back hundreds of migrants from a border fence at a refugee camp on the Greek side of the border.

#BREAKING At least 260 migrants injured in incidents at Greece-Macedonia border: MSF

— AFP news agency (@AFP) April 10, 2016

Aid workers say they have treated people for exposure to tear gas. Other injuries have been reported.

In tweets

Refugees in #Idomeni say: “Today – we either break the fence or we die” more ppl arriving all with bags Ruptly</a> <a href="https://t.co/lUdAeXpTYV">pic.twitter.com/lUdAeXpTYV</a></p>&mdash; Katica Djurovic (zoontangmarg) April 10, 2016

Teargas fired by Macedonian border police as refugees march on the border in #Idomenipic.twitter.com/jW1ndy65vm— Anna McKelvey (@japanna) April 10, 2016

#Idomeni clashes Ruptly</a> stun granades and tear gas thousand of refugees against Mac police <a href="https://t.co/c16hcrgktq">pic.twitter.com/c16hcrgktq</a></p>&mdash; Katica Djurovic (zoontangmarg) April 10, 2016

Idomeni: Children teargassed as #FYROM goes against refugees in #Greecehttps://t.co/PGCYHKyM0H Shame for EU pic.twitter.com/6bj9K6K9KH

— Keep Talking Greece (@keeptalkingGR) April 10, 2016

Why did the situation develop?

An estimated 500 people gathered at the fence near the camp in Idomeni.

Eyewitnesses say a small group tried to talk to the Macedonian border guards.

The guards refused to open the border and the group became angry, bystanders say.

Migrants in #Idomeni tried to break through border fence this am, were countered by tear gas.#Greece#RefugeeCrisispic.twitter.com/I6yTJugw7z

— Yannis Koutsomitis (@YanniKouts) April 10, 2016

Some started to make their way towards the border.

A Macedonian official said a large group of migrants left the camp and surged towards the fence.

Aid workers say they have treated people for exposure to tear gas. Other injuries have been reported.

A cascading shutdown of borders has meant more than 10,000 people have been stranded at the camp since February.

Govt says use of tear gas, rubber bullets on migrants “dangerous and deplorable” #Greece#RefugeeCrisishttps://t.co/fouqSq29Ot

— Derek Gatopoulos (@dgatopoulos) April 10, 2016

The context

Migrants at Idomeni are demanding the border with the former Yugslav republic of Macedonia be opened.

No migrants have been allowed through for weeks.

The Greek authorities have been trying to persuade those at Idomeni to move to other reception camps.

However, many are refusing to go.

In the last year, more than a million people fleeing poverty and conflict in the Middle East have poured into Europe through Greece.

The EU is implementing an accord whereby all new arrivals will be sent back to Turkey if they do not meet the criteria for asylum.

What they are saying

“Today is decision day for everyone. Either we go through, and die trying, or we die in Greece. This is the final day, it is our last hope. We have had enough of political resolutions and talks in Geneva.”- Abu Mohammed from Deir el-Zor, Syria.

“They threw rocks at the Macedonian police. The police fired tear gas in response.”unnamed official.

“We have injuries and are extremely busy.”senior official for medical aid charity, MSF.

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