Macedonian police fired tear gas and stun grenades to drive migrants and refugees back from its southern border from Greece on Friday but crowds continued to build up at a new bottleneck in an increasingly desperate flight to western Europe.

At least 10 people were hurt in the brief flare-up, a day after the impoverished Balkan country declared a state of emergency on its border to halt a daily influx of up to 2,000 Syrians, Afghans, Iraqis and others heading north.


Trying to relieve the pressure on its islands, Greece has begun transporting Syrian refugees by boat to the mainland, from where they head north to Macedonia. A ferry packed with some 2,100 Syrian refugees arrived in Athens from the Aegean islands on Friday.

Macedonia says it has registered over 40,000 migrants and refugees entering from Greece in the past two months; most move quickly through the country to Serbia and then walk into Hungary and on to the more affluent countries of western and northern Europe through the borderless Schengen area.

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