Macedonia: Injury & illness as migrants try to enter country from Greece

Hundreds of migrants were blocked into barbed-wire fencing by riot police near the Macedonian border town of Gevgelija on Friday, after the government declared a state of emergency on August 20 in its two border regions to tackle the growing refugee crisis, deploying the army. Many of the refugees and economic migrants, who are attempting to travel further into the European mainland and gain refuge inside European Union (EU) borders, fainted due to over-crowding, with several altercations breaking out. One man appeared to have had his nose broken, while several women were seen lying on the ground being attended to by fellow migrants. The Macedonian army has been mobilised to block thousands of asylum seekers and refugees who are trying to cross into the country from Greece. Some 3,000 refugees are currently living in the buffer zone between the two nations. People are sleeping out in the open as they wait, in the hope that Macedonia will open its border. Up to 44,000 people have reportedly travelled through Macedonia in the past two months alone. Migrants rarely apply for asylum in Macedonia, instead passing through the country on their way to northern European nations like Germany and Sweden. Greece alone has received, according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) figures, 124,000 migrants this year, mainly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, with 50,000 people arriving in July alone.

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