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Riding the rails of Europe's new migrant surge

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on September 13, 2019 - Duration: 02:21s

Riding the rails of Europe's new migrant surge

A freight train rumbles across the Greek countryside, but a black moving shadow cast on the ground reveals human figures are hiding between the train's wagons.

This is one path of a continent's resurgent migrant crisis.

Matthew Larotonda reports.

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Riding the rails of Europe's new migrant surge

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ANBIA NOOR ALI, AFGHANI MIGRANT, SAYING: "I try to to go in Macedonia, then Serbia, and then Germany, France." That's the voice of Anbia Noor Ali, aged 26.

We met him riding the rails of the Greek countryside.

Originally from Afghanistan, he's just one man in a new wave of migrants crashing into Europe once again.

This is one pathway of Europe's resurgent migrant crisis.

And he says he can't go back.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ANBIA NOOR ALI, AFGHAN MIGRANT, SAYING: "In Afghanistan is very war, and very problem.

Taliban - Afghanistan have Taliban, Daesh (Islamic State).

And my family live in Iran." The 2015 crisis saw millions of people flood into the continent, mostly from the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa.

But that had slowed to a trickle when the borders were tightened in 2016.

Not anymore.

In August 9,000 more arrived in Greece alone.

And complicating matters are those who were already here.

The ones who arrived in the original flows, only to get stranded.

Men like Rahman.

For now he's sleeping in an old fashioned sleeper cabin train car abandoned on the side of the railway.

He wants to move deeper into Europe.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AFGHAN MIGRANT, RAHMAN, SAYING: "Greece is good but Greece no give me home, and no have food.

I stay here like one, one year I stay here and no give me home.

No, nothing here.

I want to go (to) another country." Doctors Without Borders estimates that 24,000 migrants are stuck in overcrowded refugee camps on just the Greek isles, never mind the mainland.

And it might be about get much, much worse.

Neighboring Turkey hosts millions of refugees.

It says if it doesn't get more international humanitarian support, particularly for its Syrian refugees, it may relax its border controls and let more flow into the rest of Europe.

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