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Hungary seals external Schengen border with Croatia

Hungary's border with Croatia was closed to migrants at midnight, according to the foreign minister. The decision came after right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban met with his security cabinet.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto announced that Hungary would

seal its border with Croatia

at midnight. Barbed-wire fences on the border with Serbia have funneled people through official crossings between the two countries for over a month.

On Thursday,

right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban

announced that a fence between Hungary and Croatia had been completed and the border could be completely sealed off "

within an hour if necessary

." People without authorization to cross may submit

asylum applications

in two transit zones between Hungary and Croatia and, if permitted, enter at official crossing points.

Poland's prime minister said she would send border guards and equipment to help Hungary reinforce its border with Serbia, through which at least 300,000 people had passed. On Friday, Ewa Kopacz said she would send five vehicles with night-vision equipment, several other cars and some 70 Border Guard officers south to Hungary. Several Poles protested the decision.

Poland's troops will patrol stretches of the border away from the guarded crossings. Slovakia and the Czech Republic also agreed to send 50 police officers to the border, the final frontier of the nominally borderless Schengen Zone.

Reports of the potential border closure on Friday came hours after it emerged that an Afghan man

had been shot dead

near the southeastern Bulgarian town of Sredets, after trying to cross the border from Turkey.

mkg/msh (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)

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