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Serbia Imposes Lockdown On Migrant Camp After Family Allegedly Attacked


A migrant washes his face in a makeshift shelter at an abandoned warehouse in Belgrade in January.

Serbian authorities said they have imposed restrictions on migrants in a camp near Belgrade after three men allegedly attacked a woman and her children near the refugee center.

Officials said migrants staying in the center in Obrenovac on the outskirts of the capital will need special permission to leave and must be back by 10 p.m. each night.

Although the so-called Balkan route to Western Europe was largely shut down last year, migrants continue to flow through Serbia to its northern border with Hungary. Over 7,000 migrants, mainly from Afghanistan and Pakistan, remain in the country, which is culturally and financially ill-equipped to care for them.

About 500 of the migrants were moved to the Obrenovac camp recently from makeshift shelters in warehouses in Belgrade as temperatures dropped below freezing.

The lockdown was imposed after a local woman complained that three men she described as migrants attacked her while she was walking with her three children near the camp. Police said they were investigating the incident.

Authorities also are providing a special bus to take migrants back and forth between Obrenovac and Belgrade, "to avoid mixing" with the local population.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

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