Idomeni: Refugees get teargassed at Greek border with FYROM

Dozens of injuries have been reported from the scene.

Photos: Giannis Papanikos / FOSPHOTOS

The clashes started when more than 500 refugees tried to break through a border fence at the Idomeni camp, where more than 10,000 refugees have been stranded since February after a cascade of border shutdowns throughout the Balkans.

Police made extensive use of teargas and stun grenades at the refugees, who responded by throwing rocks. Witnesses said there were a number of loud explosions, as helicopters flew overhead and rubber bullets were fired. They said the fence had been breached at two points.

Several people have been injured, some have fainted, the majority suffers from respiratory problems. Many were taken to Doctors Without Borders facilities.

More than a million people fleeing conflict in Middle East entered Europe mainly through Greece in the past year. However, Balkan states closed off the migrant route to northern Europe this year. In addition, the European Union is implementing an accord under which all new arrivals to Greece will be sent back to Turkey if they don’t meet asylum criteria. This week, more than 300 people, many of them Pakistanis, were sent to Turkey by ferry from the Greek islands.

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