Croatian PM: We sent train full of refugees and will send more
The Croatian prime minister said this morning that his government sent a train with an estimated 850 refugees escorted by Croatian police to Hungary yesterday afternoon without authorization and will send more such trains, according to reports. Hungarian and Croatian officials disagreed over whether the Croatian police escorts were disarmed and arrested.
Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic. (Photo: Wikipedia)
“We forced Hungarians to accept refugees by sending people there, and that is what we will keep doing,” Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic was quoted as saying by origo.hu.
The train full of refugees entered Hungary from Croatia and was stopped at the Hungarian town of Magyarbóly yesterday afternoon, index.hu reports. Index.hu also posted a time-lapse video showing what it said was a peaceful transfer of the refugees from one train to another. Index.hu said it was not clear where the second train was going, but it presumed that train was heading toward the Austrian border, so that the refugees could continue their journey westward.
Hungarian Government Spokesman Zoltán Kovács said Hungarian Police disarmed and arrested roughly 40 Croatian police officers who were escorting the train, and an investigation is continuing.
“This is an unprecedented border violation,” Kovács was quoted as saying yesterday. Kovács also chided the Croatian government, which announced it would take in refugees on Tuesday but then said on Thursday that more than 10,000 refugees had entered the country and it could not handle more. Kovács reportedly said that, in a few days, Croatian officials were overwhelmed by a refugee flow that Hungary had been handling for months.
According to Reuters, Croatian Police spokeswoman Jelena Bikic denied some of Kovácsʼs version of yesterdayʼs events. “There was no disarming or arrests. It is not true. There was an agreement about the escort between the police officers from the two sides in advance,” Bikic was quoted as saying yesterday.
According to reports from both Croatia and Hungary, the Croatian police officers were returned to their country last night, and the conductor and other train staff were returned by this morning.
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