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Exclusive: Migrants face tear gas, violence at Greek-Turkish border

Migrants and Greek border police have clashed at the Turkey-Greece border.
Migrants and Greek border police have clashed at the Turkey-Greece border. © Screen grab France 24

Tense clashes have broken out between police and thousands of migrants amassed along the Greek-Turkish border where they anxiously await entry into Europe. For the migrants squatting at the Pazarkule crossing, living conditions are rapidly deteriorating. FRANCE 24's reporters Catherine Norris-Trent, Bilal Tarabey and Abdallah Malkawi filed this exclusive report from inside the zone.

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Tear gas and explosions have turned the closed-off buffer zone at Pazarkule, on the Turkish border, into a battle zone between migrants and Greek border police.

While Turkish police have banned journalists from accessing the makeshift migrant camp at Pazarkule, some migrants are managing to sneak out via back roads to tell their stories.

One of them is an Iranian man who spoke to FRANCE 24 about the daily violence against migrants by Greek border patrols. 

"These are the tear gas and the smoke grenades that the Greek government are throwing at the people that are on the border," he said.

"An Afghan friend of mine was hit with a tear gas canister near the border fence. I went to help, they fired tear gas at me too and I got injured."

He has been filming the dire conditions for migrants squatting in the camp for more than a week.

Queues for rare charity food handouts stretch out of sight and there are simply not enough meals to go around.

The migrants sleep under improvised shelters in the litter-strewn forest.

"The world needs to know what's going on here and where things are going, that's why I'm speaking out to you," he said.

Click on the player to watch FRANCE 24's report.

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