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On Foot Or Bike, Migrants Transit Macedonia On Way To EU

Every week, thousands of migrants cross through Macedonia with the hope of eventually reaching the border of the European Union. They come from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, and West African countries, among others, often entering Macedonia from Greece. The government in Skopje has forbidden illegal migrants from using public transportation, and private drivers fear being charged with human trafficking, so most people in transit are forced to go by foot or bicycle. The trip is long and exhausting, but activists or local residents sometimes come forward to offer assistance. (Photos by RFE/RL's Balkan Service)

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Children and parents rest at a train station in Demir Kapija on their way to the Serbian border on June 15. ​Macedonia's Interior Ministry says the number of illegal migrants has quadrupled in the past four months. Thousands of migrants are now entering the country every week, officials say.
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Children and parents rest at a train station in Demir Kapija on their way to the Serbian border on June 15. ​Macedonia's Interior Ministry says the number of illegal migrants has quadrupled in the past four months. Thousands of migrants are now entering the country every week, officials say.

Migrants wait at the train station in Demir Kapija to try to board a train to Serbia. As unauthorized migrants, they are officially forbidden from using public transportation. 
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Migrants wait at the train station in Demir Kapija to try to board a train to Serbia. As unauthorized migrants, they are officially forbidden from using public transportation. 

Children share a snack while waiting.
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Children share a snack while waiting.

Migrants from Syria rest in a city park. Some have bought bicycles in Macedonia to continue with the next leg of their journey.
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Migrants from Syria rest in a city park. Some have bought bicycles in Macedonia to continue with the next leg of their journey.

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People gather to try to board a train. Police lack the resources to detain the growing number of illegal migrants, and largely leave them alone.
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People gather to try to board a train. Police lack the resources to detain the growing number of illegal migrants, and largely leave them alone.

Syrian migrants take a break in a park.
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Syrian migrants take a break in a park.

Syrian migrants ride bicycles through the city of Veles on their way to Macedonia's border with Serbia. From there, most aim to enter Hungary, inside the European Union's visa-free travel zone.
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Syrian migrants ride bicycles through the city of Veles on their way to Macedonia's border with Serbia. From there, most aim to enter Hungary, inside the European Union's visa-free travel zone.

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