The Latest: Several injured in migrant clash in Bosnia
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — The Latest on Europe’s migrant crisis (all times local):
Bosnian police say several people have been injured in a clash among migrants staying in the country while trying to reach Western Europe.
Police say the fight involving about 50 migrants erupted Wednesday in a tent camp on the outskirts of the northwestern town of Velika Kladusa. They say initial reports suggest none of the injuries are life-threatening.
Thousands of migrants recently have flocked to Bosnia’s northwestern corner where they try to cross into neighboring European Union member Croatia.
Authorities in war-ravaged Bosnia have struggled with the influx. Migrants have turned to Bosnia to avoid other more heavily guarded routes in the Balkans.
Bosnia’s top security official Dragan Mektic has said authorities could seek to deploy army troops on the border with Serbia and Montenegro to help control the entry.
Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service says that nearly 900 people have been rescued from waters south of the Iberian Peninsula over the past two days, as an increase in arrivals increases pressure on the country’s infrastructure to deal with migration.
Some of the migrants are being kept overnight in a rescue boat docked in the port of Algeciras, as the makeshift emergency centers to host and identify them in sports facilities are already over capacity.
The maritime rescue service says more than 100 migrants were waiting on Wednesday to be transferred to land, 48 of them having spent the night on board.
The service rescued on Wednesday 387 people from 29 boats in the Strait of Gibraltar, the shortest stretch of water separating Europe from North Africa.
On Tuesday, 484 migrants were rescued from 30 boats, including 150 in an area further east into the Mediterranean.
The number of migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Spain this year has surpassed arrivals in Italy.
According to the International Organization for Migration, a UN agency, 18,653 people reached Spain by sea from January until July 18.
Bosnia’s top security official says the war-ravaged country could deploy army troops to help prevent a mass influx of migrants.
Security Minister Dragan Mektic said Wednesday that Bosnia won’t allow itself to become a “hot-spot” where migrants would pile up, unable to move on to Western Europe.
He says authorities might propose changes to the defense laws to allow for military troops to help guard the borders.
Authorities have been struggling with the arrival of thousands of migrants who have turned to Bosnia to avoid more heavily guarded routes through the Balkans.
Mektic says authorities are checking some 30 migrants over potential security threats.
He says “Europe has failed the security test” because migrant movements largely are controlled by organized criminal groups and not official institutions.