Migrants injured in stampede as hundreds of refugees charge into Croatian town
From the Daily News
Dozens of Syrian migrants were trampled and injured Thursday when hundreds of refugees burst through Croatian police lines in their continued, chaotic hunt for asylum.
The mad rush in the eastern Croatia town of Tovarnik sent local cops ducking behind trees to avoid the surging crowd trying to land precious seats aboard departing buses and trains.
Most cited Germany as their ultimate destination, and all were bent on reaching Western Europe.
“I want to be out of here as soon as possible,” said Syrian migrant Khalid Nsar of Damascus. “I want to go to Germany, and nobody’s going to stop me.”
The migrants — close to 10,000 in two days — descended on Croatia one day after Hungarian authorities erected razor-wire fences along the Serbian border to keep the arriving foreigners at bay.
A migrant kisses a baby as he waits to board a bus in Tovarnik, Croatia, Thursday.
Authorities also used batons, tear gas and water cannons to repel the migrants, who had trekked to the border of Croatia by the thousands.
The Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees warned that the new route put the migrants at risk from thousands of unexploded landmines left behind from the Yugoslavia wars of 1991-95.
“This area has one of the most severe landmine problems in Europe, and now we fear the danger to innocent refugees seeking to cross it on foot,” said Multifaith Alliance senior adviser Shadi Martini.
A migrant and a policeman run during a stampede to board a bus in Tovarnik, Croatia.
Hundreds of Syrians and other migrants poured across a Danube River bridge in the north Croatia town of Batina, where dozens of police officers tried to keep the peace.
Croatian leaders said they were already overwhelmed by the influx, and asked migrants to find another route. The country is considering closing its borders if the flow of refugees failed to ebb.
“Don’t come here anymore,” warned Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic. “Stay in refugee centers in Serbia, and Macedonia, and Greece.”
Slovenian officials sent more than 150 migrants aboard a Zurich-bound train back to Croatia Thursday.
With News Wire Services