Refugee wave into hotspot Hungary hits new record high

A four-meter-high razor wire fence is also under construction (File Photo: AP)

As Hungary scrambles to ramp up defenses on its border with Serbia, refugees continued to surge into the country in record numbers, police figures confirmed Thursday.

Some 3,241 migrants, including almost 700 children, arrived in Hungary on Wednesday, the highest ever number, according to a police statement.

The majority crossed the border near the village of Roszke. Most of the migrants had begun their grueling journey in Syria, Afghanistan or Pakistan.

The cross-border train tracks at Roszke are one of the only areas still unblocked by Hungary’s new razor-wire barrier, which is due to close the entire 175-kilometre (110-mile) frontier with Serbia by the end of the month.

A four-meter-high razor wire fence is also under construction.

In a further sign that Budapest is clamping down on migrants, police chief Karoly Papp announced more than 2,000 so-called “border hunter” patrols with dogs, horses, and helicopters would be sent to the frontier from September as reinforcements to the already heavy security presence.

The ruling Fidesz party said it was also considering deploying the army to help stem the influx, after unrest erupted at a crowded refugee registration center at Roszke, with police firing tear gas at migrants.

“Illegal migrants are becoming increasingly aggressive, we cannot tolerate what happened in Roszke, we cannot accept this aggression,” said Szilard Nemeth, a senior party figure and deputy head of the National Security parliamentary committee.

The move is set to be debated at an extraordinary parliamentary session in early September, during which lawmakers are also scheduled to vote on criminalizing illegal border crossing and vandalizing the border barrier.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46