Teargas fired on Greek-Turkish border as migrant tensions flare

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KASTANIES, Greece (Reuters) – Teargas and smoke bombs clouded a border crossing concerning Greece and Turkey on Saturday as tensions persisted above hundreds of migrants massed at the frontier trying to pressure their way into the European Union.

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A Reuters reporter in close proximity to the crossing at Kastanies mentioned the projectiles were being being fired from Turkey toward Greek law enforcement. Some teargas was also fired by Greek police for the duration of intermittent exchanges all through the day.

In early evening, Greek law enforcement deployed water cannons to douse fires lit alongside the border fence.

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Thousands of migrants have been attempting to get into EU member Greece considering that Turkey said on Feb. 28 it would no extended try to maintain them on its territory as agreed in 2016 with Brussels in return for billions of euros in aid.

Turkey argued it could no longer consist of the hundreds of hundreds of migrants it hosts, particularly with the likelihood of much more refugees fleeing rigorous fighting in northwestern Syria, but Greece is striving to keep the migrants out.

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Greek troopers and riot law enforcement have been manning the borderland as 1000’s of migrants have produced a hurry for the frontier in recent times. Their Turkish counterparts have been stationed on the other side.

Greek officers say authorities have thwarted countless numbers of attempts by migrants to cross in the past eight times. Between Feb. 29 and early Saturday night, Greek authorities registered a lot more than 39,500 makes an attempt to cross and designed 280 arrests, a govt source reported.

“Greece is executing what every single sovereign state has the ideal to do, to defend its border from any unlawful crossings,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis informed the CNN community on Friday night time.

“I’m scared this is a regular and really systematic provocation on Turkey’s behalf which has nothing at all to do with the plight of these people today. They are remaining utilised by Turkey.”

Turkey on Friday accused the European Union of employing migrants as political equipment and allowing for intercontinental legislation to be “trampled” following EU foreign ministers claimed they would operate to cease unlawful migration into the bloc.

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Hundreds of countless numbers of asylum seekers fleeing conflict in 2015 and 2016 arrived at the European Union likely by means of Turkey and Greece until an arrangement in between Brussels and Ankara stopped the stream in March 2016.

Even so, Turkey still hosts hundreds of hundreds of individuals, and countless numbers are caught in limbo in Greece as asylum software evaluations crawl forward at a snail’s speed.

Greek police also reported on Saturday they had arrested twelve persons making an attempt to go away for Austria on cast passports. The detainees, who claimed they ended up Syrians, arrived at Athens airport dressed in similar athletics kits and explained they were being associates of a handball workforce heading for a activity in Vienna.

Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas Crafting by Michele Kambas Editing by Alison Williams, Frances Kerry and David Clarke

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