Nick Gutteridge, Express, October 22, 2015
Lawless migrants at a camp in Slovenia torched their own living quarters and took selfies of the carnage in a shockingly dangerous act of vandalism.
Hundreds of women and children fled the Brezice Camp in terror and plumes of smoke billowed into the sky as the ferocious blaze spread like wildfire between the closely-spaced tents.
Photographs from the scene showed groups of young men wearing hoodies were the only ones left behind, with one apparently making a ‘V for victory’ sign for the cameras as a tent burnt down behind him.
Police said the gang of young men were chanting “let us go! let us go!” after they used blankets donated by the UN to set fire to the tents.
Shocking drone footage also emerged showing the full extent of the damage at the camp–which houses thousands of men, women and children–with a huge area reduced to a blackened pile of ash.
Witnesses said that a group of young men became riotous after learning that it would take at least 24 hours to register them and move them on to the nearby border with Austria.
It was reported that they were also angry about a lack of food, water and blankets at the camp.
But there were reports that the fires decimated supplies at the camp to the extent that their fellow migrants had to burn clothes donated by charities in an effort to keep warm.
Ari Omar, a migrant from Iraq, bemoaned his treatment at the hands of Europeans, saying: “I am sorry for Europe. We did not think Europe is like this: no respect for refugees, not treating us with dignity. Why is Europe like this?”
Slovenia has been thrust to the forefront of Europe’s migrant crisis by Hungary’s decision to close its border with neighbouring Serbia to stem the tide of people.
Local media reported that the biggest ever group of migrants entered the country overnight, with 3,000 crossing the border in the early hours.
Photographs of the huge convoy, which was flanked by police on horseback, showed that the vast majority of those were young men.
The embattled eastern European country has dispatched its army to the border as tensions continue to grow between EU members states.
Today Slovenia’s interior secretary of state, Bostjan Sefic, blamed the violence on neighbouring Croatia, which is shipping migrants onwards towards Western Europe.
In a statement he said the Brezice camp was designed to hold just 250 people, not the 4,000 who have passed through in the last 48 hours, and added that tensions had been caused by “unannounced excessive numbers of people deliberately sent to the border by Croatia”.
European leaders have been at loggerheads over how to deal with the deepening migrant crisis, with deep divisions emerging between member states.
The Schengen free-movement agreement has effectively been scrapped as more and more countries look to shore up their own borders, whilst rows have broken out over who should take in the hundreds of thousands of people flooding into the continent.
EU President Jean-Claude Juncker today called for yet another summit to achieve “greater cooperation, more extensive consultation and immediate operational action” between member states.