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Refugees 'refused entry to Macedonia due to nationality'

An estimated 1,000 refugees and migrants are stuck on the Greek border with Macedonia after some were refused entry because of their nationality, the United Nations said.

"A new humanitarian situation is developing in Europe that needs urgent attention," Adrian Edwards of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told a news briefing.

Refugees and migrants wait to cross the border from Greece into Macedonia. Credit: Reuters

Refugees sew mouths shut in border crossing protest

Two of the six refugees who have sewn their mouths shut. Credit: APTN

Six Iranian refugees have sewn their mouths shut as part of a protest at the Greece-Macedonia border.

They took the step as hundreds of refugees, many from Iran and Morocco, protested for a fourth successive day at the border near the village of Idomeni.

Macedonia and other Balkan countries have tightened border controls in the wake of the deadly Paris attacks on November 13, which left 130 people dead.

Police said 2,900 people crossed the border into Macedonia in the 24 hours before 6am local time on Monday, down from more than 6,000 the previous day.

Protests have been taking place at the Greece-Macedonia border. Credit: APTN


Bomb explodes outside offices in Greek capital

Forensic experts examine the scene after the explosion. Credit: Reuters

A bomb exploded outside offices in central Athens early on Tuesday, smashing windows but causing no injuries.

Police believe the blast, outside a Greek business federation, was carried out by domestic guerrilla groups.

Attacks against banks, politicians, journalists and businesspeople are not uncommon in Greece, although Tuesday's blast was the first such attack since Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras came to power in January.

The device, triggered by a timer and placed in a backpack near the entrance of the Hellenic Business Federation offices, went off at around 3.30am local time (1.30am GMT).

Police cordoned off a two-block area surrounding the building and bomb disposal squads examined the scene.


MP refuses to reveal number of Syrian refugees in UK

Richard Harrington said he would not provide a 'running commentary' on the number of Syrians brought to the UK.

The minister responsible for Syrian refugees in the UK has refused to reveal how many people have arrived in Britain under the government's resettlement programme.

Richard Harrington said he was not prepared to provide a "running commentary" on the numbers brought to the UK since David Cameron announced plans to accept 20,000 Syrian refugees over five years.

He told MPs at the home affairs select committee that he knew how many people had arrived since the initiative was launched last month but repeatedly declined to give figures.

Mr Harrington, who was appointed to the newly created ministerial post last month, said: "I don't think anything will be helped by my giving a running commentary on numbers."

His refusal to disclose the information drew criticism from the committee chairman, Keith Vaz.

We will have to write to the Prime Minister now and tell him that we need this figure because frankly I think it is unsatisfactory for you to come before this committee and not have the numbers. The public is very interested in this.

– Home affairs select committee chairman, Keith Vaz

Funeral held for baby who died during crossing to Lesbos

A funeral service is held for the baby in Lesbos Credit: ITV News

An 11-month-old boy who drowned when a dinghy carrying more than 60 refugees was swamped by waves during a night-time crossing to the Greek island of Lesbos has been buried.

The baby was among 60 other refugees travelling in a dinghy to the Greek island of Lesbos Credit: ITV News

Omaar, from Idlib, Syria, drowned when waves swamped the dinghy last Thursday.

Coastguards worked to save the baby but were unsuccessful.

A funeral service was held for the baby in Lesbos today.

Prayers are said for the baby at the funeral Credit: ITV News
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