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Wednesday
July 2019
3:31 AM IST
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Sindhu looks to complete unfinished business in Japan        Griezmann says heart with Barca after ugly Atletico exit        Kotak Mahindra Bank Q1 consolidated up 23 pc; standalone net jumps 33 pc to Rs 1,360 cr        Investor wealth plummets over Rs 4 lakh cr in 3 days of market fall        China says Hong Kong protests 'absolutely intolerable'        Britain's May chairs emergency session on seized tanker        SC to hear on Aug 6 plea by Ahmed Patel against Guj HC order on his election to RS        Nadda pulls up Pragya Singh Thakur for her toilet remarks        Chandrayaan-2 illustrates India's determination to scale new frontiers of science: PM        India's second moon mission launched successfully; ISRO takes control of spacecraft        Ramya Haridas to not accept Youth Congress' car gift        ICC ran out of patience with Zimbabwe cricket: Flower        Pragya's latest: Have not become MP to clean toilets        Want to be an Indian superhero in Avengers: Taapsee Pannu        Have been able to achieve balance between commercial and parallel cinema: Sonakshi        Mahershala Ali to star in Marvel's 'Blade' reboot        Sindhu ends runner-up at Indonesian Open        UK car sector accelerates towards electric future        China importers seek to lift tariffs on US farm goods: State media        LIC offers Rs 1.25 lakh cr line of credit by 2024 to fund highway projects: Gadkari        
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International News
Heatwave adds to the woes of migrants stranded in Bosnia
 
Bihac (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Jul 7 (AFP) Stranded in Bosnia, thousands of migrants face yet one more hurdle on their journey towards the European Union: the scorching summer heat in the Balkans.

Under a leaden sky, Saleh Alhasan and his friends hurry to reach the shade of the woods after failing yet again to cross the border to Croatia, the last barrier on the long and tortuous road into the European Union.

"I tried more than 15 times... It has been 10 months that I try to pass. And I do not want to give up. I just want to see my son" born in Sweden, says the 33-year old Syrian architect.

"I only saw him in a photo."

His wife was among hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees who took the so-called Balkans route in 2015, before the EU borders closed for them.

On a dusty road, Saleh and his companions pass by red signs hanging on trees, warning that the field is mined: a legacy of the country's brutal 1992-1995 war.

They stop at a stream to refresh themselves, exhausted after walking in temperatures exceeding 35 Celsius degrees (95 Fahrenheit).

The men no longer know where to rest.

In Bihac and Velika Kladusa near the Croatian border, reception centres with a capacity for 3,500 run by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are full.

Saleh and his friends live in unhealthy squats. He wants to return to Sarajevo where, he says, "there are more options" for a fresh attempt to cross the border.

The flow of newcomers slowed during winter but has now resumed and "a hundred migrants arrive daily in the canton" of Bihac, says regional police spokesman Ale Siljdedic.

"But recently far fewer people succeed in crossing the border.

Croatia has considerably reinforced its police presence," he adds.

According to Bosnia's security minister, more than 34,000 migrants from Asia and Africa have illegally entered the country since the beginning of 2018, 11,000 of them this year alone.

Some 8,000 are currently in Bosnia, according to European Commission estimates.

This has caused tensions both among migrants of different nationalities and with locals, who are also poor. Recently, hundreds of migrants occupied public spaces in the town of Bihac, which is home to some 65,000 people.

With the help of the local Red Cross, the authorities in June set up a camp in Vucjak, an uninhabited zone a dozen kilometres from the border, to accomodate migrants who have not found a place in IOM centres.

But according to the United Nations, the zone around this camp is also "very close" to minefields.

The EU finances the IOM centres, but it has refused to provide funds for the Vucjak camp because "it is not a suitable location and presents a clear danger" for those staying there.

Bihac mayor Suhret Fazlic says the problem is the facility is too close to the border.

Nicolas Bizel, head of operations at the EU delegation in Bosnia told AFP that this was not the main issue.

His concern was that it was too close to unexploded wartime mines and that there was also a risk of a methane explosion because the zone used to be a landfill site.

This camp became know as "The Jungle" by its occupants -- like the one that sprang up in the northern French port city of Calais, before being torn down in 2016.

Several hundred young men live there in deplorable sanitary conditions, sleeping in tents without beds, without medical assistance, showers or toilets.

Several barrels equipped with faucets provide minimal hygiene facilities.

"It is too hot. We could not rest in the tents," said Suleman Ashraf, a 29-year-old Pakistani trying to get to Spain to join his brother.

The food that arrives twice a day is everything we have here.


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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Want to be an Indian superhero in Avengers: Taapsee Pannu
 New Delhi: Taapsee Pannu on Sunday said she wants to play an Indian superhero in the pantheon of Mar  
Have been able to achieve balance between commercial and parallel cinema: Sonakshi
Mahershala Ali to star in Marvel's 'Blade' reboot
Lata Mangeshkar asks MS Dhoni to not retire
KERALA NEWS
Ramya Haridas to not accept Youth Congress' car gift
 Thiruvananthapuram: Congress MP from Alathur Ramya Haridas Sunday said she will not accept the car w
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NATIONAL NEWS
SC to hear on Aug 6 plea by Ahmed Patel against Guj HC order on his election to RS
 New Delhi, Jul 22 (PTI) The Supreme Court Monday fixed August 6 for hearing the plea of senior Congr
Nadda pulls up Pragya Singh Thakur for her toilet remarks
Chandrayaan-2 illustrates India's determination to scale new frontiers of science: PM
Pragya's latest: Have not become MP to clean toilets
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