More than 10,000 migrants enter Hungary, setting new record

Migrants walking towards the Hungarian border at Botovo, Croatia, on Sept 23, 2015.
Migrants walking towards the Hungarian border at Botovo, Croatia, on Sept 23, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

BUDAPEST (AFP) - A new record of 10,046 migrants entered Hungary on Wednesday (Sept 23), mostly via Croatia, Hungarian police said on Thursday as refugees continued to pour through the western Balkans bound for northern Europe.

A total of 9,939 migrants entered from Croatia, while 102 crossed from Serbia, the police said. The discrepancy of five migrants in the figures was not immediately explained.

The previous record was set on Sept 14, when 9,380 migrants crossed just before Hungary effectively sealed its border with Serbia.

The closure of Hungary's border with Serbia last week led thousands of migrants to enter Croatia, quickly overwhelming authorities who then started bussing them to the Hungarian border.

After crossing into Hungary, trains then take the migrants to the Austrian border. The eastern Austria state of Burgenland recorded on Wednesday 5,900 new arrivals and a further 2,200 since midnight.

From Austria the migrants seek to travel onwards to northern Europe, in particular Sweden and Germany which has relaxed asylum rules for Syrians but also tightened border controls.

The new Hungarian figures came after European Union leaders on Wednesday agreed to boost aid for Syria's neighbours, including one billion dollars through UN agencies.