Thousands of refugees and migrants have been trapped in a cruel tug-of-war overnight as squabbling European nations look to shift the burden onto their neighbours.

Frontiers were closed, bridges blocked and razor-wire fences erected in a bid to stem the flow of people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

Croatia has back-tracked on its initial 'open-door' policy after at least 17,000 people arrived in country since Wednesday. Refugees are now being sent northwards, enfuriating Slovenia and Hungary.

A man holds a child in front of Slovenian police at the boarder from Croatia to Slovenia in Harmica, Croatia Credit: Reuters

With no end in sight to the escalating crisis on the borders of the European Union, crisis meetings are to be held next week.

A group walk on a dirt road as they approach the Croatian border near the town of Sid Credit: Reuters

Hungarian police reportedly seized a train carrying from Croatia. Earlier, Hungary accused Croatia of encouraging refugees to illegally cross borders and "shipping" them to Hungary without prior consultation.

According to Reuters, 36 Croatian police officers were disarmed and the train driver was arrested during the incident. This has since been denied by officials in Hungary but they said an "agreement" had been reached and the policemen returned to Croatia late last night.