Thursday, October 29, 2015

Islamic invasion of Europe update (October 29, 2015)

Migrants scuffle as they wait to cross to Austria, in Sentilj, Slovenia, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015.
Asylum-seekers hoping to reach Western Europe turned to crossing Slovenia after Hungary
closed its border with Croatia with a barbed-wire fence. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
A fight has broken out among migrants at the overcrowded Sentilj refugee camp on Slovenia's border with Austria.

The scuffle Thursday reflects fraying tempers among the thousands of refugees queuing for hours in cold weather.

Slovenian police stepped in, pulling out a man who allegedly tried to cut a line of people waiting to cross into Austria. The process has been very slow, with people arriving in large numbers and authorities on both sides only allowing small groups to cross at a time.

Slovenian camp authorities used loudspeakers mounted on armored police vehicles to tell the crowd "Don't push! Wait for instructions from the soldiers!"

A Swedish mayor says a standoff continues with 14 asylum-seekers who are refusing to move into fully equipped chalets in a remote and cold part of Sweden where they have been told to stay while their asylum applications are processed.

Kurt Podgorski says the chalets, made for winter sports tourists, in the middle of woods several kilometers (miles) from the nearest town, "maybe is in stark contrast with what they left."

Podgorski said Thursday temperatures in Lima, a mountainous forest in northern Sweden close to Norway, currently are above freezing.

Some of the Syrian and Iraqi asylum-seekers have since Sunday occupied [how ironic - ed.] the bus that brought them there, saying Lima is not suitable for them because they have a pregnant woman and children.

Podgorski added police might intervene to help the bus company get its vehicle back.
Swedish police say firefighters have extinguished another small fire in a house for unaccompanied refugee children.

Police say an "inflammable liquid was poured in through a window" of the house early Thursday and are calling the blaze arson. No one was injured.

In recent weeks, Sweden has seen a spate of arson attacks on asylum centers or buildings as an influx of refugees has surged. Swedish immigration officials estimate up to 190,000 asylum-seekers will arrive this year.

Sweden's national police said they are coordinating the arson investigations and will use helicopters with infrared cameras in an attempt to find suspects.

In neighboring Norway, immigration authorities were considering whether to follow Sweden's decision and longer publicize the location of refugee facilities.

Slovenian police say more than 100,000 refugees have entered the country in less than two weeks.

Police say more than 5,000 came in Thursday morning, bringing the total number since Oct. 16 to 102,757.

Asylum-seekers hoping to reach Western Europe turned to crossing Slovenia after Hungary closed its border with Croatia with a barbed-wire fence.

Slovenia has warned it could also put up a fence along its border with Croatia. The small nation of 2 million has repeatedly said it cannot not cope with the mass influx.

Hundreds of asylum seekers, some holding children in their arms, have pushed their way over metal barriers at the Sentilj camp on Slovenia's border with Austria after waiting for hours in cold weather to cross.

Up to 1,000 people who had been crammed between the barriers set up by Slovenian and Austrian police pushed forward Thursday, jumping over and trampling on one another.

The unrest calmed down after the police let several hundred people cross toward Austria. Witnesses say they saw some people lying on stretchers.

Earlier Thursday, a fight broke out between migrants at the same camp reflecting fraying tempers among the thousands of refugees lining up.

The process has been very slow, with people arriving in large numbers and authorities on both sides only allowing small groups to cross at a time.

Hungary's foreign minister says the international community must significantly ramp up its fight against the Islamic State group in order to stem the flow of people fleeing conflict in the Middle East and heading to Europe.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto says "the less successful we are in combatting terrorism, the more migrants will come to Europe and the bigger challenge we will face."

Szijjarto said Thursday the 28-nation European Union must put together a "European force" to help Greece protect its vast sea borders with Turkey, from which thousands of people cross daily into Europe.
Hungary's foreign minister says the European Union needs to wrest back control of its borders, dismissing as "hypocritical" criticism of his country's construction of a border fence to tame the flow of refugees.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Thursday after talks with his Cypriot counterpart that Hungary built the fence with Serbia to comply with EU rules on the movement of people and goods. He said this must happen through official border crossings during specific opening hours and the only choice was to build a "physical obstacle."

Szijjarto also said fellow EU foreign ministers couldn't offer an alternative when challenged, adding "this kind of hypocritical behavior should be forgotten in Europe."

British Navy
Britain's Ministry of Defense says the Royal Navy has rescued 541 people this week as they scoured the Mediterranean Sea in operations to counter refugee smugglers.

The HMS Enterprise, a survey vessel, rescued 439 migrants and HMS Richmond, a Type 23 frigate, rescued 102 migrants. The Ministry declined to say Thursday more precisely where the operations took place.

Military personnel cared for the migrants on the ships before transferring them to the Norwegian support ship Fiem Pilote.

Royal Navy ships in the Mediterranean have rescued almost 7,000 asylum-seekers since May.

French Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve says no migrant crossed the border from France to Britain since security was reinforced on Sunday.

Cazeneuve told lawmakers Thursday that around 1,100 police officers have been deployed in the tunnel area of the French port city of Calais.

He added that "hundreds" of asylum-seekers will be taken out of a slum-like camp in Calais on Friday. The camp is believed to have doubled in size in recent weeks to as many as 6,000 people.

Thousands of migrants and refugees have converged in Calais in the hope to sneak across the English Channel to Britain.

Authorities are struggling to cope with a fresh surge of migrants arriving at the border between Germany and Austria.

Officials in the Passau region of southeast Germany say they have too few buses and not enough shelters, forcing many of the new arrivals to wait for hours in frigid temperatures that can reach freezing point overnight.

The dpa news agency reports that some 6,500 migrants arrived at the border on Wednesday and police expect a similar number Thursday.