Hungary says anti-migrant barrier along Serb border complete

Hungary has this year intercepted more than 140,000 migrants entering from Serbia

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A razor-wire barrier along Hungary’s border with non-EU member Serbia, aimed at keeping out migrants, has been completed, the Hungarian defence ministry said on Saturday.

“Two days before the August 31 deadline, the first section of the border closure has been completed,” the ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency MTI.

The barrier consisting of three rolls of razor wire along the 175-kilometre frontier is however failing to prevent people getting across, AFP saw in a recent visit.

A four-metre-high (13-foot) fence is due to follow and is already being built by the Hungarian army which will “also provide a defence against illegal border-crossers,” the defence ministry said.

Around 1,000 border police currently control the border, and 2,000 more are due to be in operation from September 1, the government says.

Hungary, a member of the European Union and of the visa-free Schengen zone, has this year intercepted more than 140,000 migrants entering from Serbia.

In the past week along, some 10,000 have crossed over as the surge reaches record levels.

The vast majority have trekked up through the western Balkans and want to travel onwards to western European countries like Germany and Sweden.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-wing government has been criticised by Brussels for building the barrier, which it announced in June it would construct.

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