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Hungarian riot police unleash hell on refugees

Hungarian border police unleashed a barrage — including tear gas, pepper spray and a water cannon — against refugees who broke through a razor-wire fence Wednesday along the Serbian border before stampeding back in a panic.

Some women even held babies above their heads in a desperate appeal for mercy.

“I don’t know what to do, stay here or try some other way to cross the border?” Ahmed Sami, a Syrian dad, told the Associated Press.

“We walked and traveled for hundreds, thousands of kilometers only to be stopped meters from the European Union. My wife and children cannot stand on their feet anymore. This is tragic,” he said.

The violence erupted a day after Hungary shut its border with Serbia, saying it had to protect the European Union’s external border, and began arresting refugees trying to enter the country.

A total of 519 migrants who tried to cross the border illegally had been arrested so far Wednesday as authorities launched 46 criminal prosecutions and convicted an Iraqi of “illegally crossing the border” — the first conviction based on the new law.

Refugees clash with Hungarian riot police who used tear gas, pepper spray and a water cannon to try to push them back from the border.
A refugee throws a bottle of water towards Hungarian riot police after they used water cannon to push back refugees at the Hungarian border with Serbia near the town of Horgos on September 16, 2015. Europe’s 20-year passport-free Schengen zone appeared to be a risk of crumbling with Germany boosting border controls on parts of its frontier with France as migrants desperate to find a way around Hungary’s border fence began crossing into Croatia. With a string of EU countries tightened frontier controls in the face of the unprecedented human influx, the cherished principle of free movement across borders — a pillar of the European project — seemed in grave jeopardy. AFP PHOTO / ARMEND NIMANIARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images

A judge ordered the man to pay the equivalent of $70 in court costs, expelled him from Hungary — probably back to Serbia — and banned him from returning for a year. The man said he was unaware of the new law, but the judge said: “Ignorance of the law doesn’t excuse anybody.”

A drone captured this image of the border station between Serbia (top and left) and Hungary near Hargos, Serbia.
This picture taken by a drone shows the stranded migrants at the border station between Serbia and Hungary near Horgos, Serbia, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. Small groups of migrants continued to sneak into Hungary on Wednesday, a day after the country sealed its border with Serbia and began arresting people trying to breach the razor-wire barrier, while a first group arrived in Croatia seeking another way into the European Union. (Istvan Ruzsa/MTI via AP)

Migrants in Serbia have started entering neighboring Croatia after facing the draconian new measures in Hungary. But that exposes them to a deadly new danger — former mine fields along the country’s front line in its 1991-95 war.

According to Croatia’s Mine Action Center, there are still 193 square miles of suspicious areas throughout the country — but all have been clearly marked.

Miljenko Vahtaric, an official with the mine center, said there are five suspicious spots in the border area with Serbia. He said de-mining teams have been working in the area for months.

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said his country is ready to accept migrants “regardless of their religion and the color of their skin” and will help them go to Germany, Scandinavia or other destinations in Europe.

Hungary’s foreign minister said the fence along the border with Serbia will remain as long as large numbers of migrants keep trying to enter the country.

“Only a physical obstacle” can help Hungary protect its borders against the migrants who enter Greece before heading north, said Minister Peter Szijjarto.

He called on the EU to send forces to help Greece control the influx, saying his country would make a “massive contribution.”

Some refugees who made it to Austria before the barriers went up were elated upon reaching Germany.

Mohammed Al Zain, 22, an economics student from Aleppo, arrived in the German town of Freilassing from Austria after being stuck waiting 12 hours for his train to get permission to cross the border.

Tightly holding his 7-year-old brother, he said border guards “told us, ‘Welcome to Germany’ and we are very happy right now.”

A refugee woman wipes her eyes after Hungarian riot police used pepper spray and a water cannon to push refugees back from the border.
A refugee woman wipes her eyes after Hungarian riot police used pepper spray and water cannon to push back refugees at the Hungarian border with Serbia near the town of Horgos on September 16, 2015. Europe’s 20-year passport-free Schengen zone appeared to be a risk of crumbling with Germany boosting border controls on parts of its frontier with France as migrants desperate to find a way around Hungary’s border fence began crossing into Croatia. With a string of EU countries tightened frontier controls in the face of the unprecedented human influx, the cherished principle of free movement across borders — a pillar of the European project — seemed in grave jeopardy. AFP PHOTO / ARMEND NIMANIARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images

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