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Refugees injured as police fire tear gas at border

A migrant catches his breath after inhaling teargas thrown by Macedonian police on a crowd of more than 500 refugees and migrants protesting next to a border fence at a makeshift camp at the Greek-Macedonian border near the village of Idomeni, Greece. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

Refugees injured as police fire tear gas at border

The Greek government has denounced the use of tear gas on refugees at their border as “dangerous and deplorable”.

Hundreds of people were injured and six were taken to hospital when Macedonian police fired tear gas on a group as they tried to break through a fence on the Greece-Macedonia border, the medical charity Doctors without Borders (MSF) said.

MSF official Achileas Tzemos told the Associated Press news agency the injured included about 200 experiencing breathing problems and 100 with cuts and bruises from plastic bullets.

A Macedonian police source said three officers were also injured by stones thrown by the protesting refugees.

Greece said on Sunday the use of force against refugees was “dangerous and deplorable”.

“The indiscriminate use of chemicals, rubber bullets and stun grenades against vulnerable populations, and particularly without reasons for such force, is a dangerous and deplorable act,” said George Kyritsis, a spokesman for migration coordinators in the Greek government.

According to Al Jazeera the clashes began after about 500 refugees gathered close to the fence.

Earlier activists had distributed fliers, in Arabic, calling for the refugees to gather at the fence and a delegation asked Macedonian police whether the border was about to open.

When the answer was no more than 100 refugees, including several children, tried to scale the fence.

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