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Migrants break through Croatia police lines at Tovarnik

September 17, 2015 6:05 pm

Crowds of migrants have scuffled with Croatian police in at least two places along the border with Serbia as they seek to enter the European Union.

They briefly broke through police lines at Tovarnik and Bezdan after hours waiting in full sun.

At least 8,900 migrants entered Croatia on Thursday, officials said, after Hungary closed its border, blocking the previous land route into the EU.

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Croatia’s interior minister says the country is “absolutely full”.

EU leaders will hold an emergency summit next week to discuss the crisis.

Croatia’s president has asked the army to be ready to protect its borders from “the illegal migration”, state news agency Hina reported (in Croatian).

Officials say migrants must apply for asylum there or be treated as illegal immigrants.

Under EU regulations, refugees must register and claim asylum in the first member state they reach.

Correspondents described the scenes in Tovarnik as mayhem, after several thousand migrants who had crossed from Serbia were held back by riot police, trying to get them to wait for transport on from the border.

Croatian police eventually gave way under pressure. Some of the migrants said they intended to walk to neighbouring Slovenia.

Slovenia, like Hungary, is an entry point to the Schengen zone, which normally allows people to travel between member countries without restrictions.

Many migrants are exhausted. Supplies of food and water are running low.

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