Two tunnels are discovered by police in Hungary as they arrest 44 migrants who used the underground passageways to sneak across the border from Serbia
- Hungarian police caught dozens of migrants from Serbia using dug-out tunnels
- Border patrols uncovered two tunnels near Asotthalom and Csikeria in the south
- 44 migrants were stopped at Asotthalom, but it is unclear where they were from
Hungarian police have caught dozens of people squeezing through a tunnel dug under a fence on the border with Serbia.
Police said Friday border patrols had uncovered two tunnels near Asotthalom and Csikeria in the south, where a steel fence has separated Hungary from Serbia for the past four years.
‘This time police found two tunnels dug by hand, without support structures, threatening the lives of those using them,’ a statement said.
44 people were stopped at Asotthalom, but police did not specify which country they were from.
Measuring sticks are placed near the entrance to a tunnel in the village of Asotthalom in southern Hungary. Police said 44 migrants were caught using this tunnel to enter Hungary from Serbia
Inside the tunnel which was was 112 feet long and has since been filled in by authorities
Wooden bords are placed as camouflage over the entrance to a tunnel in Asotthalom
Police said the tunnel near Asotthalom was 112 feet long, while the one near Csikeria ran for 71 feet.
Authorities have filled up the tunnels, which were built recently and with entrances and exits hidden under foliage.
Police said people were increasingly seeking to enter EU member Hungary again, many wanting to travel north to richer European countries.
Last week alone, more than 600 people were intercepted compared with some 80 in the same week in 2018.
Ankara launched a military operation last month to push Syrian Kurdish forces back from the border and create a ‘safe zone’ to take in some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees currently in Turkey.
It has threatened to ‘open the gates’ for them to flee to Europe unless more international support was provided.
Migrants at a metal fence near the Hungarian village of Asotthalom on the Hungarian-Serbian border on August 27, 2015 (file photo)
Hungarian soldiers control the metal fence-saved border line at Asotthalom border station on February 24, 2016 (file photo)
Nationalist premier Viktor Orban has said Budapest stood ready to work with Ankara to ‘avoid masses of migrants arriving at Hungary’s southern border’.
Greece has again become a key point of entry for asylum-seekers to Europe.
Athens says over 37,000 asylum-seekers are on the islands, and hundreds more arrive daily.
Using the so-called Balkan route they seek to travel on northwards.
Orban built a steel fence on Hungary’s border with Serbia to seal off the Balkans route of migration, where hundreds of thousands of people marched through from the Middle East to Western Europe at the peak of the crisis in 2015.
He recently warned he would ‘use force’ to fend off migrants if Turkey delivered on its threat to allow 3.6million refugees to flood into Europe.
‘If Turkey sets off further hundreds of thousands (on top of those it has already), then we will need to use force to protect the Hungarian border and the Serbian-Hungarian frontier and I do not wish for anyone that we should need to resort to that,’ Orban said earlier this month.