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Macedonian police fire tear gas on migrants storming Greek border

Crowds who gathered at the razor wire fence proceeded to use a heavy metal pole to bring down a gate.

A man carries on his shoulders a child holding a banner reading "Open the borders" during a demostration of migrants and refugees protesting behind a fence and barbed wire at the Greek-Macedonian border, near Gevgelija, on February 27, 2016. Macedonia denied all passage to Afghans and ramped up document controls for Syrians and Iraqis. On February 26, there were some 4,000 people waiting to cross at the border post of Idomeni, local police said. Greek authorities have been regulating the flow of refugees but hundreds have set out on foot for the border, determined to continue their journey despite being told they will be turned back. Picture: AFP.
Greece,migrants,refugees,Balkans
World

IDOMENI, GREECE - Macedonian police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of migrants and refugees who stormed the border from Greece on Monday, tearing down a gate as frustrations boiled over at restrictions imposed on people moving through the Balkans.

A Reuters witness said Macedonian police fired several rounds of tear gas into crowds who tore down the metal gate and onto a railway line where migrants sat refusing to move, demanding to cross into the country.

There were an estimated 8,000 people gathered at Idomeni, the small frontier community on Greece's border with Macedonia. Most were Syrians and Iraqis.

Earlier on Monday, a crush had developed along the frontier after rumours spread that Macedonian authorities had opened the border after several hours of it remaining sealed shut.

Crowds who gathered at the razor wire fence proceeded to use a heavy metal pole to bring down a gate by digging beneath the barrier and using force to push it up and out. At least two people collapsed in the crush and ensuing use of tear gas, Reuters television images showed.

At least 22,000 refugees and migrants have been stranded in Greece in the past week since border restrictions began along other countries in the Balkan corridor used by individuals to get to central and northern Europe.

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