The first groups of migrants arrive in Croatia, walking through cornfields into the European Union via Serbia's western border and opening a new front in the continent's migration crisis after Hungary sealed its border. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The first large group of migrants arrived in Croatia on Wednesday morning (September 16), walking through cornfields to reach European Union territory from Serbia's western border. Barred from entering Hungary on Serbia's northern border, about a hundred migrants - mostly Syrian - crossed into eastern Croatia near the village of Tovarnik from the Serbian border town of Sid, opening a new front in the continent's migration crisis. Dozens of migrants could be seen on Wednesday trekking through fields near the official border crossing between Serbia and its fellow former Yugoslav republic, since 2013 a member of the EU. They arrived by bus from the southern Serbian town of Presevo, rerouted late on Tuesday (September 15) to the Croatian border after Hungary sealed its own frontier with Serbia to the wave of migrants streaming north across the Balkan peninsula en route to western Europe. Serbian media reported that at least 10 migrant buses had left Presevo overnight bound for Sid. According to reports, they offloaded their passengers within a few hundred metres of the border, after which the migrants immediately resumed towards Croatia on foot Croatian police confirmed they had crossed, saying on Wednesday morning that about a hundred of them had been gathered together and would be registered and transported west to reception centres near the towns of Sisak and Kutina in central Croatia. From there, it is less than 100 kilometres to the Slovenian border and Europe's Schengen zone of border-free travel. Many will hope to cross Slovenia into Austria and on to Germany and other prosperous countries of western and northern Europe. Croatian reception centres have room for about 3,000 migrants, fewer than the number crossing borders daily up and down the Balkans, having landed in Greece by boat and dinghy from Turkey, and travelling northwards through the non-EU countries of Macedonia and Serbia. Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said on Wednesday that migrants entering Croatia will be allowed to pass through and continue their journey to western Europe.