Refugees brave rain, surging river to flee teeming Idomeni camp

Defying Europe's border closures, more than 2,000 refugees stranded in Greece braved torrential rain and waded across a fast-flowing river to get into neighbouring Macedonia on Monday.

Greece faces the biggest challenge to border closures since Austria's migrant cap 10 days ago

More than 2,000 refugees stranded in an overcrowded transit camp on the Greek-Macedonian border made a break for it on Monday, travelling west on foot. (Matt Cardy/Getty)

Refugees flee overcrowded camp

In dramatic scenes, refugees held children and their belongings over their heads as they crossed thigh-deep water on the Greek-Macedonia border on Monday.

The elderly clutched ropes placed by volunteers to help them across. All told, about 2,000 people left Idomeni travelling west on foot.

(Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

Thousands stranded in Greece

Monday's events were the biggest challenge to border closures since the route to central Europe from Greece was sealed off 10 days ago. An estimated 40,000 refugees remain in Greece.

(Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty)

Macedonia detains hundreds

Despite their efforts, these refugees may have limited time in Macedonia for making plans to journey onward to Western Europe. Macedonian soldiers and police detained hundreds of soaking wet people after they crossed from Greece and put them into trucks, authorities said. Their fate remained uncertain, and police refused to give further details.

(Visar Kryeziu/AP)

European leaders in talks with Turkey

The desperate crossing came days before European Union leaders try to hammer out a deal with Turkey to try to hold more refugees there.

(Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty)

Migration cap causes chain reaction

Macedonia's border was closed following transit restrictions imposed by EU-member Austria, which put a cap on migrants last month, setting off a domino effect of border closures across the Balkans and stranding thousands in Greece.

(Matt Cardy/Getty)

Bodies found in Suva Reka river

Underscoring the risks, police in Macedonia said the bodies of a man and two women, all Afghans, were found Monday near the border with Greece. 

Despite the closures, more 8,500 refugees and migrants travelled to the Greek islands from Turkey last week, according to the UNHCR.

(Visar Kryeziu/AP)


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