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Afghan Migrants In Serbia Urge EU To Open Borders

Several hundred migrants, including Afghans, stranded in freezing weather in Serbia staged a protest on Wednesday, urging Europe to open its borders.

Holding banners, migrants gathered outside an old customs warehouse in central Belgrade that has been a make-shift shelter for hundreds of men and boys from countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan.

One banner read "Freedom of movement" while another pleaded "open borders please".

Ahmed Osmani from Afghanistan said the borders should be opened because many people in the shelter are ill and all the other camps are full.

Osmani spoke about his fear of being deported back to Macedonia, and said migrants avoid certain camps because of this worry.

Aid groups have warned that migrants in Serbia have been at risk of exposure since extreme winter weather gripped the Balkan country in early January.

Some 7,000 migrants have been staying in Serbia's asylum camps or sleeping rough in parks or make-shift shelters.

When the nations along the former Balkan migrant route - leading from Turkey through Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia - closed their borders one after another in March 2016, thousands of migrants were trapped along the route.

Afghan Migrants In Serbia Urge EU To Open Borders

Some 7,000 migrants have been staying in Serbia's asylum camps or sleeping rough in parks or make-shift shelters.

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Several hundred migrants, including Afghans, stranded in freezing weather in Serbia staged a protest on Wednesday, urging Europe to open its borders.

Holding banners, migrants gathered outside an old customs warehouse in central Belgrade that has been a make-shift shelter for hundreds of men and boys from countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan.

One banner read "Freedom of movement" while another pleaded "open borders please".

Ahmed Osmani from Afghanistan said the borders should be opened because many people in the shelter are ill and all the other camps are full.

Osmani spoke about his fear of being deported back to Macedonia, and said migrants avoid certain camps because of this worry.

Aid groups have warned that migrants in Serbia have been at risk of exposure since extreme winter weather gripped the Balkan country in early January.

Some 7,000 migrants have been staying in Serbia's asylum camps or sleeping rough in parks or make-shift shelters.

When the nations along the former Balkan migrant route - leading from Turkey through Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia - closed their borders one after another in March 2016, thousands of migrants were trapped along the route.

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