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Macedonia fires tear gas at migrants

Friday, August 21, 2015 - 00:55

Macedonian riot police fire tear gas to disperse thousands of migrants and refugees attempting to enter the country from Greece. Rough cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Macedonian police drove back crowds of migrants and refugees trying to enter from Greece on Friday (August 21) after a night spent stranded in no-man's land by an emergency decree effectively sealing the Macedonian frontier. A Reuters reporter said tear gas was fired and saw at least four bloodied migrants taken for treatment on the Greek side of the border. "They shoot us today, they shoot us today, I can tell you, I see it. We was in front of the place. Officer people, they… Officer people in Macedonia, they shoot the people," said a migrant who did not want to be identified. Several thousand people from the Middle East, Africa and Asia, many of them Syrian refugees, spent a cold night in no-man's land after Macedonia on Thursday (August 20) declared a state of emergency and effectively blocked its southern frontier to migrants and refugees. The flow into Macedonia had reached 1,500-2,000 per day in recent weeks, up from some 200 daily in May, leading to desperate scenes of crowds wrestling to board packed trains at a nearby railway station, children squeezed through open carriage windows. The crowds stranded in no-man's land may increase through the day as more arrive from Greece, including 2,400 Syrian refugees taken by boat from the island of Kos to the mainland on Thursday. The United Nations refugee agency is on the ground, and has urged the government to allocate more space to provide shelter for migrants and refugees on its side of the border. The Red Cross is also present. Some 50,000 arrived on Greek shores from Turkey in July alone, seeking to reach western Europe through Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary, where Europe's borderless Schengen zone begins. Macedonia says it cannot deal with the influx. The situation is not aided by a tense relationship between Macedonia and Greece, rooted in a dispute over Macedonia's name since it declared independence from socialist Yugoslavia in 1991.

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Macedonia fires tear gas at migrants

Friday, August 21, 2015 - 00:55