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Serbia, Croatia Launch Train Link For Migrants

Serbia and Croatia have launched a direct train transfer of migrants from one country to another, eliminating a bottleneck that would force migrants to wait long hours in the freezing cold.

A train carrying about 1,000 migrants left in the morning of November 3 from the Serbian town of Sid toward Slavonski Brod, Croatia, where authorities have set up a transit center.

Serbian Labor and Welfare Minister Aleksandar Vulin said four or five trains were expected to make the 120-kilometer trip daily.

From Slavonski Brod, the migrants will be transported to Slovenia under an arrangement between the two countries.

The system was agreed after thousands of people were forced to spend entire nights at a border passage waiting to cross from Serbia to Croatia.

More than 700,000 migrants -- most of them fleeing poverty and violence in Syria, Afghanistan, and Africa -- have entered Europe so far this year. Most of them want to reach the wealthy countries of Western Europe.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa