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Slovenia Accuses Croatia of Lack of Control on Migrant Surge

  • Associated Press

A child cries as migrants and refugees cross the Croatia-Slovenia border at Trnovec, Oct. 19, 2015.

A child cries as migrants and refugees cross the Croatia-Slovenia border at Trnovec, Oct. 19, 2015.

Slovenia accused Croatia on Tuesday of sending thousands of migrants toward its borders "without control," ignoring requests to contain the surge, and urged the rest of the European Union to get involved in solving the crisis.

While Slovenia has said it can handle only 2,500 migrants a day, Slovenia police said that around 8,300 migrants seeking to head toward Western Europe were in reception centers in the small country, with thousands more arriving.

Police in riot gear surrounded hundreds of migrants in a muddy field near the border village of Rigonce, from where they were to be escorted on foot to an already overcrowded reception center about 15 kilometers (9 miles) away.

"The pressure of immigrants arriving from Croatia is intensifying," the Slovenian government said in a statement. "They send immigrants toward Slovenia without control, deliberately dispersed."

Croatia didn't seem ready to slow the flow. On Tuesday morning, a train carrying more than 1,000 migrants from the town of Tovarnik and some 20 buses full of migrants from the Opatovac refugee camp were headed toward the Slovenian border.

Slovenia's parliament is expected to decide later Tuesday on a government proposal to allow the army to assist police with border control.

The government said 8,000 migrants arrived on Monday, while only 2,000 continued toward Austria and at least 4,000 more, including many babies and young children, had entered Slovenia early Tuesday.

Slovenia is publicly calling on member states and European institutions to become actively involved in taking on the unevenly distributed burden that Slovenia is under, the government said. "It is delusional to expect a country with a population of 2 million to stop, regulate and resolve what much bigger member states have failed to do."

Slovenia has been confronted by the surge since Hungary closed its border with Croatia to the free flow of migrants on Saturday, forcing migrants to find new routes to Austria, Germany and other favored destinations in the European Union.

Not a single migrant has entered Hungary from Croatia since the border was closed with a fence protected by razor wire, soldiers and police patrols.

See related video report by Zlatica Hoke