Several thousand rain-soaked war refugees and asylum-seekers ran across Macedonia’s border from Greece Saturday as riot police chased them lobbing stun grenades, tear gas and beating them with batons. The violence came as Macedonia is cracking down on the flow of thousands of Syrian war refugees attempting to reach safety in western Europe by traveling through the Balkan region.
In the chaos, many families were separated, some left in Macedonia and others pushed onto the Greek side of the border. Children in tears searched for their parents shouting “mama, baba” while parents scoured the area for their missing children.
Security forces boxed in hundreds of the refugees in no-man’s land – including many children who were separated from their parents in the chaos. But several thousand others made it through muddy fields to Macedonian territory after days spent in the open without access to any shelter, food or water.