On Saturday, thousands of migrants rushed past baton-wielding Macedonian police, who fired stun grenades into the crowds. Many hundreds remained on the Greek side of the border.
Many women, at least one pregnant, and children fell to the ground apparently fainting after squeezing past the cordon.
Then thousands of others, including women with babies and men carrying small children, used the moment to run across a field not protected by barbed wire to enter Macedonia.
Police fired stun grenades, but didn’t manage to stop the rush.
There were no immediate reports of the number and extent of injuries. Many children also lost their parents in the chaos and were left shouting “mama, baba.”
The situation at the border, according to Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki, has “dramatically deteriorated.”
“In the last several days there has been a dramatic increase of inflow of migrants and we have reached numbers of 3,000 to 3,500 per day which obviously is not something a country of two million people and our resources can handle on a daily basis,” he told the BBC. “We had to reinforce the control of illegal entry of Macedonian territory.”
The UN estimates that more than 160,000 migrants have arrived in Greece so far this year—where they do not stay long—fleeing wars in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq.