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Migrants Clash With Serbian Police As They Try To Cross Into Croatia

Refugees Clash With Police Along Serbian-Croatian Border
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WATCH: Police turned away several refugees and migrants who tried to cross the Serbian-Croatian border on November 14. About a hundred had walked in a protest march from the Serbian capital, Belgrade. They demanded that they be allowed to travel through Croatia so they can reach Western Europe. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)

A group of migrants clashed with Serbian police as they tried to enter Croatia on their way to Western Europe.

Some 100 migrants broke a Serbian police cordon on November 14 and tried to enter Croatia across fields, but were stopped by police forces from both countries, who encircled them in the no-man's-land, witnesses said.

The migrants, largely from Afghanistan and Pakistan, marched for two days on the highway some 125 kilometers from the Serbian capital, Belgrade, and arrived at the border on November 13.

They said they did not want to return to reception centers in Serbia, complaining about living conditions, and demanded free passage to Western Europe.

Croatian Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic said Croatia would not allow illegal entry to the migrants.

Serbian Interior Minister Nebojska Stefanovic said his country would not allow the migrants to block highways and border crossings to cross into "another country which would not take them."

According to the United Nations refugee agency, around 6,400 migrants from countries such as Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are registered in Serbia. But local nongovernmental organizations say the number is close to 10,000.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

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