The Latest: Migrants in Bosnia reach border with Croatia
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Latest on migration into Europe (all times local):
Several dozen migrants, including women and children, have arrived near the border with Croatia after walking for several hours from a migrant center in Bosnia.
Bosnian police on Monday evening stopped the migrants before they reached the border crossing in the village of Izacic, in northwestern Bosnia. Police are trying to persuade the migrants to go back to the migrant center.
The group walked toward the border some 15 kilometers (9 miles) to draw attention to their plight and the fact that borders remain closed for people trying to reach Western Europe.
Locals along the way have offered food and drinks, showing sympathy with the migrants.
Several thousand migrants are staying in Bosnia and are unable to cross to neighboring European Union member Croatia and proceed to the west.
Morocco’s Interior Ministry says a migrant has died and 22 others have been injured while climbing a fence separating the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco during a mass attempt to cross the border.
Twelve Moroccan border guards were wounded as they tried to prevent up to 300 migrants from climbing the seven-meter (23-foot) high border fence on Sunday. The injured migrants and border officers were taken to Nador hospital for treatment.
The ministry said in a statement that 141 migrants were arrested and will be “returned to their countries of origin.”
According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 36,600 migrants arrived in Spain by sea during the first nine months of the year, a sharp rise from previous years that has put a strain on public services.
Bosnian police have blocked some 200 migrants from reaching the border with neighboring Croatia, which is a member of the European Union.
The migrants marched Monday from the northwestern town of Velika Kladusa toward Croatia in protest that the border remains closed for people trying to reach Western Europe. They turned back after spending a few hours near the Maljevac border crossing.
Also Monday, another group of 89 migrants, including children, left a camp in the town of Cazin, apparently to march toward another border crossing.
Thousands of migrants are staying in northwestern Bosnia while trying to reach wealthy EU nations. Local residents held protests last weekend in the town of Bihac over the rising number of migrants in the town.
Migrants have turned to war-ravaged Bosnia to avoid more heavily guarded routes in the Balkans.
Turkey’s state-run news agency says coast guards have rescued some 20 people after a boat carrying migrants sank off Turkey’s Aegean Sea coast. Two of the migrants later died in the hospital.
Anadolu Agency said the boat, believed to be carrying around 30 people, sank early Monday near the resort of Gumbet, near Bodrum. The area is close to the Greek island of Kos.
Anadolu said residents in Gumbet alerted authorities after hearing cries for help and some took part in the rescue operation. Rescue crews were searching the area for more survivors.
There was no immediate detail on the migrants’ nationalities.
Although their numbers have decreased in recent years, migrants still try to cross into Greece from nearby Turkey in the hopes of making their way to other European countries.