Bosnia moves migrant families sleeping rough into camps

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Bosnian authorities said Friday they have moved into asylum centers more than one hundred migrants — nearly half of them children — who were sleeping rough while waiting for a chance to slip into neighboring Croatia.

The migrants were staying in abandoned houses in northwestern Bosnia that lacked basic amenities and were relocated to a camp in the region that hosts vulnerable groups, the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs said.

Altogether, in eight abandoned houses, police found 115 people from 34 families that included 53 children, a statement said.

Thousands of people fleeing war and poverty at home remain stranded in Bosnia while seeking to reach wealthy European countries. They mostly gather in northwest Bosnia in the hope of illegally crossing the border into neighboring European Union member Croatia.

On Friday, Croatian authorities said one migrant died and two others were wounded by an explosion of land mines left over from the 1991-95 war in the country.

The explosion happened on Thursday in a forest in western Croatia, police said in a statement. After surveillance, police early on Friday rescued ten more people from the mine-danger zone, they said.

The area has been largely demined since the war, but some forested areas remain dangerous, state HRT television reported. It added that the wounded migrants have been hospitalized.

The incident highlights the dangers migrants face as they travel illegally through countries in journeys that often last months, or even years.

In Bosnia, many migrants have been sleeping rough while attempting to cross the border into Croatia. Migrants in Bosnia have complained of alleged pushbacks and violence in the hands of Croatia’s police.

Still recovering from a devastating war in the 1990s, Bosnia has struggled with the influx of people from the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The EU has urged the Balkan nation to better manage the migration crisis.

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