Police use tear gas to push back migrants at Diavata

Police use tear gas to push back migrants at Diavata

New clashes broke out on Friday afternoon between riot police and migrants near the Diavata reception centre in northern Greece, after a new group of people tried to break through police lines in a bid to reach the border.

About 2,000 migrants, including families with small children, had gathered in a cornfield outside the camp by Friday afternoon, following a call on social media to try and cross the border and head to northern Europe.

Migrants, reportedly led by an Algerian national in a wheelchair, picked up their belongings and tried to push forward. Riot police responding with tear gas and stun grenades.

After failing to flee, some migrants moved in the opposite direction and set some dry grass on fire, creating a stifling atmosphere.

One man has unfurled a banner that reads : Help us. We love you,” while others chanted “Open the borders” in Greek and English.

Earlier in the day, Greek Migration Minister Dimitris Vitsas appealed to the migrants at the border to return to the camp, noting that they cannot cross into North Macedonia.

“It’s a lie that the borders will open,” he told Greek state television ERT.

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