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Serbia, Macedonia Filtering Migrant Flow

Serbia and Macedonia have begun restricting the entry of refugees to those from certain countries, leaving hundreds of people stranded on borders.

A spokeswoman for the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR), Melita Sunjic, said on November 19 that Serbian authorities “allow into the country only refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq.”

"They turn back all the others to Macedonia," she added.

Sunjic said Macedonia was also barring refugees from certain countries, including Liberia, Morocco, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Sudan.

The Macedonian nongovernmental organization LEGIS said the country was also allowing only Iraqis, Afghans, and Syrians into the country.

Those three nationalities make up the majority of the hundreds of thousands of migrants fleeing war and poverty who have trekked across the Balkans this year in the hope of reaching Western and Northern Europe.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and dpa