The country has also stepped up border controls, manning its Croatian border with foot patrols and a helicopter and stopping all passenger trains at the Dobova border.
Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic said earlier on Thursday that Croatia would close its border with Serbia if the inflow of refugees again hits 8,000 people a day. Dozens were injured as police responded with tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons, and migrants threw rocks and other objects at them.
Women were wailing and police tried to help children as masses of people pushed their way out of the holding area set up for processing. This has forced migrants to change tactics.
The refugees in Croatia are unlikely to stay long.
Croatia’s National Security Council is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting regarding the crisis Friday.
“Yes, of course, Croatia showed a human face, but I stress that the safety of Croatian citizens and the stability of the state comes first“, she said.
“High commissioner Zeid deplored the xenophobic and anti-Muslim views that appear to lie at the heart of current Hungarian government policy”, a statement issued on his behalf said.
Croatia had said it would let people pass through freely on their way to other European Union countries — but Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic warned his country’s resources for dealing with the influx were “limited”.
Refugees have been flooding across the Croatian border and ABC News was there with them as they faced their new reality.
Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban says his country has started building a razor wire fence along a stretch of its border with Croatia to keep migrants from entering the country there. However, Germany has said that the whole of Europe needs to work together and take some of the hundreds of thousands of people trying to find safer lands.
Thousands of desperate migrants will now likely to use Croatian route to enter western Europe. But it’s unclear whether they’ll ultimately fare better on that route.
Croatia had initially said the migrants would be welcome, but today it said it was overwhelmed and would not become a “migrant hotspot”.
Hungary denied coordinating the move with Croatia, while Austria denied coordinating it with Hungary, reinforcing the sense of chaos prevailing in Europe as it grapples with the biggest migration crisis in decades. But Slovenia, which unlike Croatia a member of Europe’s Schengen zone of border-free travel, has ruled out creating a “corridor” for migrants.