EU migrant crisis: Refugees turn to Croatia as Hungary closes borders

Catherine Neilan
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Hungary has sealed off one of its major borders, prompting refugees to find alternative crossing points (Source: Getty)

Refugees fleeing Syria and other countries are turning to Croatia for safety after Hungary started closing its borders yesterday.

Police and aid workers have been deployed to Croatia's border with Serbia, where refugees are now being transported to as it became increasingly difficult for them to take the route into Hungary through which thousands of people have already passed.

So far this morning around 80 people have entered officially from the Serbian town of Sid, according to AP. However many more are crossing through nearby fields to avoid registration.

Officials are expecting that number to increase, with more bus-loads of refugees expected throughout the day.

Yesterday migrants found themselves unable to enter Hungary after the government deployed razor-wire fences across its border. At the same time new laws came into being which allowed police to arrest anyone trying to breach the fence and reject applications for asylum.

The government has also called a state of emergency and is poised to deploy troops to the border to keep the situation under control.

Austria is following suit: this morning the country began selective controls of vehicles at three main border crossings with Hungary, with police checking passports and other travel documents. Officials have said this could be extended to 10 crossings as they attempt to crack down on the number of migrants entering.

However interior minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner has said Syrians and people in danger in their home countries can continue to ask for asylum in Austria. She says they will also be free to travel on to Germany, as has been the case up to now.

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