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The Latest: Slovenia Pleads for Help from European Neighbors

The Latest: Slovenia Pleads for Help from European Neighbors

Tuesday, 20 October 2015 06:00 AM

DOBOVA, Slovenia (AP) — The latest news as migrants fleeing war or seeking a better life make their way across Europe by the tens of thousands. All times local:

11:35 a.m.

Slovenia's government is pleading for help from its European neighbors as it struggles to cope with thousands of migrants arriving from Croatia.

A government state on Tuesday said: "From Slovenia's perspective, European solidarity is at stake. It is delusional to expect a country with a population of 2 million to stop, regulate and resolve what much bigger member states have failed to do."

The government says Slovenia is the smallest country on the Balkan migration route, with limited capacity to control its boder and accommodate migrants.

11:15 a.m.

Hiba Kanalani, a migrant from Damascus, pressed a blanket tight around her head and body, her teeth chattering from the cold while she stood in a row of asylum seekers waiting to cross from Serbia into Croatia on Tuesday.

Kanalani arrived at the crossing hours earlier with her two boys aged 4 and 7, unprepared for the weather.

Frustrated by the delay, she said: "What is this? Where is the army? Where is police? Where are buses? We will die here."

"Kanalani says she started the journey toward Western Europe on Oct. 8 in Turkey, hoping to reach Sweden where she has relatives.

The 39-year-old woman says her husband has been working in Saudi Arabia for the past seven years, but she didn't want to join him there because of the restrictions imposed on women.

Kanalani says, "You cannot drive, you cannot do anything. You have to cover face and body. I cannot live there."

10:15 a.m.

Austrian police say that the country's main border crossings with Slovenia are quieter after the arrival Monday of more than 4,000 migrants fleeing war and hardship.

They say 3,500 came over the Spielfeld crossing and 780 at Bad Radkersburg. Police spokesman Fritz Grundnig said Tuesday morning that about 500 more migrants were expected at Bad Radkersburg over the coming hours.

The main crossing with Hungary at Nickelsdorf remains empty of migrants. That reflects their new route into to Austria over Slovenia via Croatia, since Hungary closed its borders with Croatia and Serbia.

10:05 a.m.

Wrapped in blankets or standing around fires to warm up in biting wind and cold, up to 1,000 migrants are waiting to cross from Serbia to Croatia and continue their journey toward Western Europe.

Croatian police on Tuesday were continuously letting migrants cross into the country in groups of several dozen people at the time.

Still, some migrants have spent hours out in the cold as they awaited their turn. Tensions were building occasionally with migrants shouting "Open, Open" to the Croatian police.

Families with small children could be seen putting any clothes they could find, lighting small fires, curling up in tents or under blankets and spread-out sleeping bags.

The same crossing was the scene of a massive backlog Sunday and Monday when Croatia stalled the flow because Slovenia further west was taking in limited numbers.

10:00 a.m.

Slovenia says Croatia is sending thousands of migrants toward its borders "without control," ignoring requests to contain the surge.

The Slovenian government said Tuesday in a statement that "the pressure of immigrants arriving from Croatia is intensifying. They send immigrants toward Slovenia without control, deliberately dispersed."

Croatia did not seem ready to slow the flow. On Tuesday morning, a train carrying more than 1,000 migrants from the town of Tovarnik and some 20 buses full of migrants from the Opatovac refugee camp were headed toward the Slovenian border.

Slovenia's police said that some 8,300 migrants seeking to head toward Western Europe were currently in reception centers in the small country, with thousands more arriving.

Slovenia, which faces the surge since Hungary closed its border with Croatia on Saturday, has said it can handle only some 2,500 migrants a day, while 6,000 arrived Monday

9:15 a.m.

Soldiers and police, some on horseback, escorted some 2,000 migrants to an overcrowded reception center in Slovenia after arriving from Croatia in the middle of the night. Authorities say another thousand arrived Tuesday morning.

Wrapped in plastic raincoats and blankets, the migrants were walking toward a refugee camp in nearby Brezice. Later, they were expected to be distributed to other camps.

Croatia has been sending migrants to the border with Slovenia since Saturday, when Hungary blocked passage to migrants from Croatia with a border fence protected by razor wire, soldiers and police patrols.

Slovenia's government said 6,000 migrants, mostly women and children, arrived on Monday.

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The latest news as migrants fleeing war or seeking a better life make their way across Europe by the tens of thousands. All times local:11:35 a.m.Slovenia's government is pleading for help from its European neighbors as it struggles to cope with thousands of migrants...
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Tuesday, 20 October 2015 06:00 AM
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