KASTANIES FOREST : Greece has blocked nearly 10,000 migrants trying to enter from the border with Turkey over the past 24 hours, a Greek government said on Sunday.

A massive influx of migrants - many of them from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia - swelled along the border over the weekend after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to open its frontiers to Europe.

He is seeking to pressure EU governments over the Syrian conflict after an air strike in Syria's Idlib province on Thursday killed dozens of Turkish soldiers.

A Greek government source said on Sunday its army and police had stopped thousands from entering its territory.
''From 0600 Sunday morning 9,872 illegal entrances have been averted in the Evros area,'' the government source said, referring to the north-eastern region along the the Turkey border.

Huge crowds tried to cross from Greece via the Kastanies Forest in the early hours of Sunday, the source said. Greek authorities said 73 migrants had been arrested, but added that they ''weren't from Idlib, but from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia.''

Some 13,000 migrants have gathered along the Turkish-Greek border, including families with young children, the International Organisation for Migration said on Saturday.

Greek security forced are patrolling the Evros river shores, - a common crossing point - and have issued loudspeaker warnings not to enter Greek territory.

On Saturday clashed erupted along the border, where Greek police fired tear gas at migrants who in turn lobbed rocks at officers. [AFP]


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!