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Migrants heading for European Union cross from Macedonia into Serbia

Published 24/08/2015

A migrant girl carries her bag at a migrant processing centre in the southern Serbian town of Presevo. (AP)
A migrant girl carries her bag at a migrant processing centre in the southern Serbian town of Presevo. (AP)

Thousands of migrants from the Middle East, Asia and Africa have crossed from Macedonia into Serbia on their way to the European Union.

The rush over the border came after Macedonia lifted the blockade of its border with Greece, after thousands of migrants stormed past Macedonian police who tried to stop their entry by force.

Some 7,000 migrants, including many women with babies and small children mostly from Syria, crossed into Serbia over the weekend.

Some were pushed in wheelchairs and wheelbarrows or walked on crutches. Hundreds more entered Macedonia from Greece on Monday.

Migrants were heading for an overcrowded asylum centre in the Serbian border town of Presevo.

After they formally ask for asylum, they have three days to reach the border with Hungary which is rushing to build a barbed wire fence on its border with Serbia to block the migrants.

The new migrant tide that has hit the Western Balkans has worried EU politicians and left the impoverished Balkan countries struggling to cope with the humanitarian crisis.

After entering Serbia, the migrants, fleeing wars and poverty, are heading towards EU-member Hungary from where they want to continue further north to richer EU countries, such as Germany and Sweden.

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