Migrants Trade Punches, 1 Stabbed as Tensions Boil Over


Migrants traded punches and scuffled with police at a Serbian border crossing and a man was stabbed in a similar clash on the Slovenian border Thursday, as pent-up pressures on their trek toward hoped-for safe haven in the European Union boiled over.

Slovenian police said the stabbing took place near Rigonci earlier in the day, and that the victim was given medical treatment.

The unrest at Berkasovo village on the Serbian border subsided after several minutes. But the outbreak reflected the frustrations of the tens of thousands of people facing long waits and other hardships as they make their way north over the Balkans each day in search of better lives in prosperous EU countries.

Further along that route, Austrian police moved to relieve pent-up pressure which they feared could lead to violence, removing barriers at an overcrowded collection point at a border crossing with Slovenia. A day earlier, thousands of migrants broke through police obstacles at the same collection center at the Spielfeld border point.

The flow of people over the so-called west Balkans route that begins in Greece has shifted. Migrants still cross first into Macedonia and then Serbia but now enter Croatia instead of Hungary, which erected a fence along its border to Serbia. From Croatia, they move to Slovenia, which has struggled to deal with the increasing numbers.

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