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The Latest: Hundreds of Migrants Push into Croatia

The Latest: Hundreds of Migrants Push into Croatia

Wednesday, 21 October 2015 05:41 AM

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

10:55 a.m.

Hundreds of migrants have pushed their way into Croatia after spending the night out in the open in freezing cold, waiting to cross from Serbia into the European Union.

Exhausted and chilled, migrants on Wednesday started walking down the muddy border passage and over the corn fields. Croatian police had deployed on the boundary to stop them but then moved away.

U.N. refugee agency officer Francesca Bonelli says around 3,000 migrants were there overnight, including little children, the elderly, people in wheelchairs and many sick and exhausted. Migrants have lit fires and used blankets and tents to warm up.

Bonelli says Croatian police were letting in smaller groups overnight, fueling migrants' fear they might get stuck.

10:35 a.m.

A fire has broken out at a camp for migrants in Slovenia, with plumes of smoke rising and firefighters rushing to put it out.

It was not clear what caused the fire Wednesday at the camp in Brezice, on Slovenia's border with Croatia, which is housing thousands of migrants, including women and children. Migrants have been lighting fires to warm up in cold fall weather.

Emergency teams were aiding the migrants amid thick smoke spreading through the camp. Slovenian riot police deployed by the camp in full gear to manage the situation. Ambulances also have arrived at the scene.

Some refugee tents have burned. Firefighters are using vehicles with stairs lifted high up to spray the fire with water

More than 20,000 migrants have entered Slovenia since Saturday when the refugee route toward Western Europe switched toward the Alpine nation.

10:05 a.m.

Dozens of migrants, including women and small children, have crossed a river in the cold of the night while crossing from Croatia to Slovenia on their journey toward Western Europe.

More than 1,000 migrants were dropped at the border by train from Croatia early on Wednesday and directed to cross the frontier on foot. Threading through an unknown area, some groups of migrants found themselves by the Sutla river.

With the temperatures below or around zero (32 Fahrenheit), migrants treaded through the river or swam over, carrying their children and personal belongings. Then they climbed up the muddy river banks to be escorted on by Slovenia's police.

An Iraqi man who identified himself only as Cege says "the river is very cold, up to my head here, the water is very big, for that we decided to come here and water was here." He adds, "we need help, we need dress, we need food, now we are all wet."

9:15 a.m.

Austrian police say main border crossings used by migrants to come into the country are quiet after a sudden influx of about 4,500 people on Tuesday.

Police say all of those fleeing war and hardship them came from Slovenia, with most of them using the Spielfeld crossing. Most were transported to shelters in various parts of Austria, with only 530 migrants present at that border reception station Wednesday.

The other border reception area, at Bad Radkersburg, is empty.

8:25 a.m.

Slovenian lawmakers have approved a law formally granting more powers to the army in managing the migrant influx along the border of the small Alpine nation.

Parliament voted 66-5 early on Wednesday to allow the troops to warn, direct and temporarily restrict the movement of persons or engage in crowd control, as police normally do.

The law envisages that the new measures can put in force in an exceptional situation and for three months with the possibility to extend the period.

Slovenian army troops already have been deployed at the border providing logistical support to the police.

Migrants have turned to Slovenia in their bid to reach Western Europe after Hungary closed its borders to the flow on Saturday.

8:15 a.m.

An official in Cyprus says two boats with approximately 140 people onboard have landed on the shores of a British air base on the island's southern coastline.

British Bases spokesman Kristian Gray told The Associated Press that the two boats came ashore at RAF Akrotiri at daybreak on Wednesday. He said there are children among the passengers, but authorities haven't established where the boats came from.

Gray said there's no information about the passengers' health.

Cyprus' eastern tip is less than 100 miles (160 kms) from Syria's coastline. The island hosts two bases on its southern coast which are considered sovereign British territory.

In the last two months, Cypriot authorities rescued 128 Syrian refugees aboard two boats in separate incidents.

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The latest news as migrants make their way across Europe by the tens of thousands, fleeing war or seeking a better life. All times local:10:55 a.m.Hundreds of migrants have pushed their way into Croatia after spending the night out in the open in freezing cold, waiting to...
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Wednesday, 21 October 2015 05:41 AM
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