Migrants clash again with Macedonian police on Greek border
More than 100 migrants engaged in running battles yesterday with Macedonian police on the other side of a fence on Greece's border with the country, in clashes that sent clouds of tear gas wafting over a crowded tent city of stranded refugees and other migrants.
The violence stopped a planned tour of the border fence in Macedonia by the visiting presidents of Croatia and Slovenia.
No injuries were reported from the clashes at the closed Idomeni crossing, while Greek riot police monitoring the stone-throwing migrants on their side of the fence made no arrests, did little to intervene and retreated during the tear-gas barrage.
Macedonian police fired scores of tear gas canisters, stun grenades and rubber bullets at the protesters, who had earlier tried to scale the border fence using blankets issued by humanitarian groups to get over coils of razor wire. Many of the canisters were neutralised by blankets and earth thrown over them by the protesters.
About 11,000 people have been living in the informal camp for weeks, since Macedonia closed its border to transient refugees and other migrants hoping to move north towards Europe's prosperous heartland. Before the shutdown, which was triggered by a similar move in Austria, further north on the migration corridor, about 850,000 people who had arrived in Greece on smugglers' boats from Turkey had entered Macedonia from Idomeni.