Hundreds of migrants flow into Macedonia from Greece

Syrian refugees allowed to cross into Macedonia after riot police using stun grenades and tear gas are overwhelmed by crowds

Hundreds of refugees crossed unhindered from Greece into neighbouring Macedonia on Sunday, a day after police used stun grenades in a failed bid to stem the flow of migrants.

Riot police remained on site, but seemed to be overwhelmed by the hundreds of people, many of them Syrian fleeing the war, trying to cross the border. On Thursday, Macedonia declared a state of emergency and sealed its southern border to migrants pouring in at a rate of 2,000 per day.

The refugees were boarding trains to take them to Serbia en route to Serbian then Hungary and the Europe Union’s borderless Schengen zone.

Police and security remained at the border on Sunday, checking the refugees belongings and bags as they allowed them to pass through. Initially riot police used tear gas and stun grenades to drive back crowds, but were overwhelmed on Saturday by several thousand who tore through police lines or ran through nearby empty fields.

The state eventually laid on extra trains, and buses arrived from across the country to take the migrants swiftly north to Serbia and the next step of a long journey from the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Macedonia has accused neighbouring Greece, with which it enjoys a tense relationship, of aiding the migrants' journey north at a pace the Balkan country says it cannot cope with.

Greece has begun chartering boats to take migrants from inundated Greek islands to the mainland, after a record 50,000 hit Greek shores by boat from Turkey in July alone.

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