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Clashes as Macedonia tries to keep refugees at bay

Macedonian police have fired tear gas and stun grenades as several hundred Iraqi and Syrian refugees, frustrated at days of delays in crossing the Greek-Macedonian border, broke down a gate at a nearby rail crossing.

Thousands of people have been stuck at Greece’s northern border, overflowing from a packed refugee camp at Idomeni into the surrounding fields as they wait for Macedonian authorities to let them continue their trek through the Balkans. Only a tiny trickle of people from specific countries have been allowed to cross every day.

Refugees and migrants try to break an iron fence from the Greek side of the border as Macedonian police stand guard, near the northern Greek village of Idomeni on Monday, February 29, 2016. (AP/Petros Giannakouris)
Refugees and migrants try to break an iron fence from the Greek side of the border as Macedonian police stand guard, near the northern Greek village of Idomeni on Monday, February 29, 2016. (AP/Petros Giannakouris)

The migrants had earlier pushed their way past Greek police to reach the gate, chanting “Open the border!” and “We want to go to Serbia!” the next country north on the Balkan migration route leading into Western Europe.

Police repel the protesters and no arrests or injuries are reported in the clashes.

— AP

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