Migrants injured in clashes with Bosnia-Croatia border police

Migrants injured in clashes with Bosnia-Croatia border police
Eighteen migrants have been injured after trying to cross from Bosnia to EU member-state Croatia and then being pushed back from the border by police.
2 min read
07 August, 2019
Migrants walk near the Bosnia-Croatia border after being pushed back by Croatian police [Getty]

A group of 18 migrants were found injured near Bosnia's border with Croatia and are receiving medical care, local media and police said Wednesday. 

Some 5,000 migrants are camped out in northwest Bosnia, hoping to continue westward into EU member state Croatia.

Migrants are routinely pushed back by Croatian police, sometimes violently, according to watchdogs, but many also manage to slip through.

Zagreb denies such claims and on Wednesday said its police had peacefully stopped 18 adult men from trying to enter "illegally" on Tuesday evening.

"According to the information gathered, police did not use force on this occasion, the people had no visible injuries and none of them requested medical assistance," Croatia's Interior Ministry said in a statement. 

However, the ministry said it would "examine in detail the claims of injuries and... the use of force" by border police.

Regional broadcaster N1 reported that the 18 migrants were admitted to a medical clinic Tuesday night.

Most had minor injuries but six were transferred to a hospital, N1 said, citing a spokesperson for the facility in Velika Kladusa. 

"I can confirm that an incident has occurred, but I don't know the number of migrants involved in this incident," local police spokesman Ale Siljdedic told AFP

Since 2018 Bosnia has become a key transit point on a migrant route towards Western Europe. 

Last year some 25,000 migrants from the Middle East, North Africa and Asia trudged through the mountainous and poor country.

Bosnian police estimate some 15,000 have already managed to continue onwards this year, despite a surge in police presence on the Croatian side of the border.

Zagreb denies any police abuse against migrants and says it is protecting its border from illegal entries.