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Serbia Clears Belgrade's Main Migrant Camp To Make Way For Development

Migrants gathering last year near Belgrade's main bus station
Migrants gathering last year near Belgrade's main bus station

Machines and construction workers on May 15 overran an area which just a couple a days ago was home for more than a thousand migrants who were living in abandoned barracks near the central bus station.

In the days before the demolition, most of the estimated 1,200 migrants -- who are mostly of Afghan and Pakistani descent -- were transferred by bus to government-run camps with spaces across the country.

Officials claim one of the main reasons for transferring the migrants is that it will provide protection from smugglers and other forms of abuse.

The former gathering place for homeless migrants near the bus station is being cleared as part of the government's plans for a 2.5 billion euro waterside development.

The Belgrade Waterfront will include skyscrapers, luxury penthouse apartments, shopping malls, hotels, and parks.

More than 7,200 refugees, asylum-seekers, and migrants were identified in Serbia at the last count, according to a UN Refugee Agency report published last week.