5,000 refugees arrive in Serbian town in one day
A record number of refugees - as many as 5,000 - arrived to the reception center in Kanjiza, northern Serbia, in a single day, RTS said on Thursday morning.Source: B92, RTS, Tanjug
At the same time, according to Hungarian police, 3,300 of them crossed into neighboring Hungary.
Hungarian authorities are "hurriedly transporting migrants from the town of Roszke to, for the moment, an unknown destination," said reports. Hundreds have already been bused away.
Tanjug's reporter said crowds were forming in front of the buses "as everyone wants to leave a field near the border with Serbia where they have spent several days."
The agency said it learned unofficially that the migrants are taken to a reception center near Budapest, while "(Hungarian) police officers are telling them they are going to Austria, to talk them into leaving as soon as possible."
The refugees have tents and have been lighting fires in a bid to keep themselves warm, as temperatures have dropped to about ten degrees Celsius, and most of them come from countries with warmer climate.Some are seeking medical assistance.
There were still over 1,000 refugees in Roszke on Thursday morning, while more were arriving across the border with Serbia.
In the first nine days of September, more than 22,000 refugees and migrants crossed this border on their way toward western Europe, Reuters said.
At the same time, reports from Austria quoted the police there as saying on Thursday that 3,700 refugees crossed the country's border with Hungary, "but that's not the end of the day's influx."
According to a police spokesman quoted by Reuters, the new influx of migrants puts more pressure on Austria's authorities to organize their transport to Germany.
Tens of thousands of people, many of whom left Syria due to the war, crossed the border since Austria and Germany opened their borders during the weekend. Only several hundred have sought asylum in Austria, while others continued their journey toward Germany.
Serbians "first who didn't treat us like animals"
Manveen Rama, a BBC Radio 4 reporter, has posted several of photographs on Twitter showing a Serbian police officer holding a Syrian boy, with one captioned, "Syrians are full of praise for Serbian police. 'They're fair. They're the first who didn't treat us like animals'."
Hundreds, sometimes thousands of refugees from the Middle East pass through Serbia every day on their way to western Europe. They journey through various countries is often accompanied by tragedies, and bad treatment by the local police and citizens.
Manveen Rama noted that although refugees receive much better treatment in Serbia than in most countries, they are still, as everywhere else, a vulnerable category of people.
One of the journalist's tweets thus said, "Serbian taxi drivers have been ruthless. They circle the area where refugees camp and charge extortionate sums at the end of the journey."
The Serbian media have, in the meantime, identified the police officer from Rama's tweets as Redzep Arifi. Arifi joined the Serbian police in the southern town of Presevo in 2002. For the past month, he has been deployed to the Miratovac reception center for refugees arriving via Greece and Macedonia.
His cousin, Valon Arifi, told reporters that Redzep was 34-years-old and with no children of his own, and that he had lost his father in a car crash when he was six-months old.
Valon also revealed that the officer did not wish to discuss the fact he was now "popular" online, and that he said only, "It's a humane act and an obligation of every humane person."