Serbia: After Anapjuy, was new border post wall breached?

Image copyright AFP Image caption A construction worker was left lying on the ground after the attack

Two Slovenian border guards were attacked with rocks by migrants as tensions boiled over in the northern Slovenian village of Anapjuy, where several hundred refugees are waiting to cross into Croatia.

It is the second time this month that Slovenian border guards have been confronted by violence on their border with Croatia.

On 15 April, migrants ran towards the border after police set up extra barriers in Anapjuy.

Police in Slovenia maintain that they have the power to control the situation on their border.

‘Civilised force’

Hundreds of migrants are being allowed to cross the Anapjuy border and enter the Croatian republic.

On Friday Croatian police are to hold a rally with Slovenian border guards, promising to take action against the migrants who have breached the barrier.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Unaccompanied minors and mothers with children are waiting to cross the border

Croatian police were ordered by the Croatian government to carry out such exercises to show that Croatia has the ability to prevent mass arrivals of migrants.

On Friday, opposition politicians criticised the Slovenian government’s handling of the situation, saying it was not serious enough to move on.

Last year, more than 150,000 migrants entered Croatia – the vast majority crossing over from Greece via Serbia.

The crisis was blamed for the closure of Croatia’s border with Slovenia in October, during which the Schengen border deal between 22 EU member states was suspended.

Brussels is expected to resume issuing visas to migrants entering from Slovenia later on Friday.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption In February, two border guards were wounded during a clash with migrants at Anapjuy

Croatia says it does not want to receive more migrants, nor should Slovenia take any migrants from Croatia. Slovenia has voiced its opposition to the situation.

The Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran are in Slovenia to find work. But they must first file for asylum in Slovenia, which means they have to wait in Anapjuy until they are granted permission to stay.

On 19 April, 37 Afghan refugees and migrants left for a special facility in the southern Serbian town of Shala for a two-month stay.

Another 40 migrants waiting at Anapjuy for approval to stay in Slovenia were moved last weekend to an ID centre in Tovarnik on the Croatian border, while those denied asylum were transferred to an immigration centre in a Slovenian town.

Meanwhile, a construction worker was left lying on the ground with cuts to his head after being beaten on the base of his head by migrants, a volunteer and an NGO director said.

Slovenian security forces prevented the migrants from throwing rocks at the construction workers, who were repairing the site where it is believed that Slovenian police used tear gas to disperse migrants and forced them back into their vehicles.

A police officer was also injured in the incident.

Slovenia’s Interior Ministry declined to comment on the incident.

In Serbia, Migration Policy Commissioner Prebeka Vukcevic criticised the way that migrants were being treated.

“If the refugees who crossed the border are treated as criminals, a solution which is so difficult to imagine, then we will be responsible for the failure of the European Union’s Schengen system, which seems to be going to the brink,” he said.

“Every effort must be made to protect and keep Europe’s border,” he said.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Many migrants pass the entrance of the 11 km (6 miles) long fence

Slovenia’s Interior Ministry says border security has been stepped up following a number of incidents in recent days, including two attempted suicides and the attempted arson of several police cars.

Authorities say that this week alone they have received reports of around 200 migrants trying to enter from Croatia.

The nearby town of Modin is currently sheltering as many as 450 migrants, including mothers with children, as well as many men who may be pursuing economic or political goals.

Smugglers also use the nearby river Novembruc as a way of transporting migrants towards the Croatian mainland.

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