Macedonian police fire tear gas on refugees again
This is second such clash between Macedonian police and refugees in Idomeni, Greek town near the Macedonian border, within last three days.
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - Macedonian police fired tear gas on refugees again to stop them from crossing the border fence with Greece Wednesday, according to an AA reporter at the scene.
This is the second such clash between Macedonian police and refugees in Idomeni, Greek town near the Macedonian border, within the last three days.
On Sunday, police also used tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades on refugees as they tried to break through the border fence with Greece. Around 300 people were injured during the violence, which was condemned by the Greek Refugee Coordination Crisis Management Body.
On Wednesday, a group of about 40 people, including children came to the Macedonian border fences and threw stones and sticks at the police officers. Later, refugees reportedly cut through a part of the fences and managed to cross the border. However, Greek police intervened and managed to stop the illegal border crossing.
The clashes between police and refugees lasted for about two hours.
An estimated 11,000 plus refugees are at refugee camps in Idomeni, hoping to make their way to northern Europe despite the closed border.
Over the past year, hundreds of thousands have made short but perilous journeys in a bid to reach northern and western Europe in search for a better life.
Over 173,000 asylum seekers and refugees have crossed into Greece and Italy since the beginning of 2016, according to the International Organization for Migration. Of the 173,761 people that have already crossed the Mediterranean this year, 153,106 have reached the Greek islands as of April 11 while 19,930 people landed in Italy. Another 648 people landed in Spain, while 27 others landed in southern Cyprus.
During the same period, at least 723 people have lost their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean, with the Eastern Mediterranean route between Turkey and Greece continuing to be the deadliest, accounting for 375 deaths. During the first three months in 2015, 505 people died in all Mediterranean routes.