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Refugee crowds build at Macedonia border

Saturday, August 22, 2015 - 01:29

Macedonia is rationing the entry of refugees and migrants gathered at the border with Greece, a day after police fired tear gas to drive back the crowds. Yiming Woo reports.

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At first light, about 600 migrants and refugees are let in by Macedonian authorities. They squeeze onto a train near the border with Greece to head north, towards Serbia. Thousands fleeing conflict in the Middle East want to get to Europe's borderless Schengen zone. But here, authorities have sealed entry and declared a state of emergency. Activists helping the migrants say there are thousands more at the Greek side of the border. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTIVIST FROM NGO "LIBRAS", ALEKSANDRA DAVIDOVSKA, SAYING: "There are other people waiting to get in around 3500 to 5000 what I saw a few hours ago when I was there. Now the train was boarded I did not manage to know how many cars were there but a lot of people went in. We gave priority to women and children of course and families, not just women and children, and families not to split them of course." At the no man's land between Macedonia and Greece, families have no access to shelter and little food or water. The Macedonian government has sent riot police to the border, a day after they fired tear gas and stun grenades at the crowds to drive them back. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MIGRANT FROM AFGHANISTAN, HALID, SAYING: "Macedonian police is not doing good with us, they are hitting us and the rain is come and we all have, look - children, we have big problems." In the past two months, over 40,000 migrants and refugees have entered the country.

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Refugee crowds build at Macedonia border

Saturday, August 22, 2015 - 01:29