BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — A group of migrants and asylum-seekers who set off two days ago on a protest march toward the border with Hungary have traveled part of the route by train before proceeding on foot to seek entry into the European Union, the Serbian authorities said Sunday.
The group of several dozen people arrived on a morning train in the northern town of Subotica and resumed walking from there, said Ivan Miskovic from the Serbian government refugee agency. Subotica is about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the border.
Some 300 young men and boys started marching Friday from Belgrade toward the Hungarian border, 200 kilometers (120 miles) away, to protest Hungary’s decision to keep its border closed for most asylum-seekers, which has left several thousand stranded in Serbia.
Faced with scorching heat, many have given up along the way, while others kept towels or blankets on their heads to protect themselves from the sun and stopped occasionally to rest in the shade.
Hungary has recently strengthened anti-migrant controls on its southern border with Serbia, admitting about 30 people a day, mostly families with small children, and pushing back those caught trying to cross illegally. Hundreds of migrants have been staying in makeshift camps along the border with almost no facilities.
Faced with a pileup of refugees, Serbian authorities also have announced stricter joint army and police border controls with Bulgaria and Macedonia, where migrants mostly enter Serbia. Most of the people stranded in Serbia have refused to apply for asylum there, fearing it would ruin their chances of one day reaching any EU nation.