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Slovenia army to help patrol border amid migrant crisis

Slovenia's army has been called in to help border police deal with the flow of migrants coming from Croatia. The new security measures come after a marathon all-night emergency meeting in Ljubljana.

"The inflow of migrants over the last three days has exceeded all manageable possibilities," said a government statement released on Tuesday.

It added that the proposed changes to the Law on Defense, expected to be approved by parliament later on Tuesday, would only allow soldiers to help in the crisis "under very specific circumstances."

"Slovenia is the smallest country on the Balkan migration route and has therefore limited possibilities of border control and accommodating migrants," the statement continued. "Therefore Slovenia publicly calls upon the [EU] member states and the European institutions to actively engage in taking over this burden."

The government said it was an "illusion" to think that a country its size, with just 2 million inhabitants, could achieve what larger member states could not - that is, register, accommodate and process an unprecedented number of asylum seekers.

DW correspondent Catherine Martens, on the border with Slovenia, has been reporting from the scene.

West Balkan bottleneck

Some 8,000 refugees entered Slovenia on Monday, with 2,000 of them going on to Austria. Ljubljana said they had

turned back more than 1,000 migrants

at the Croatian border after a daily quota had been reached.

The refugees, many of them desperately fleeing violence in Syria and Afghanistan, were then forced to spend the night sleeping on freezing railroad tracks after police barred them from leaving Croatia.

Croatia and Slovenia have become the new frontier in Europe's migrant crisis after

Hungary

erected a razor wire fence along its border with Serbia last month.

On Monday, the United Nations refugee agency said more than 10,000 migrants were stranded in non-EU member Serbia.

es/cmk (AFP, Reuters)

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