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Hungary completes anti-refugee barrier along southern border

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Refugees cross a border under the barbed fence near the village of Roszke on the Hungarian-Serbian border on August 28, 2015. © AFP

Hungary says the construction of a razor-wire barrier along its southern border with Serbia to curb the influx of asylum seekers has been completed.

"Two days before the August 31 deadline, the first section of the border closure has been completed," the Hungarian Defense Ministry said in a Saturday statement.

However, the barrier, consisting of three rolls of razor wire, has reportedly failed to stop thousands of refugees slipping into the country.

A four-meter (13-foot)-high wall, currently under construction, is due to follow the fence and will "also provide a defense against illegal border-crossers," according to the statement.

Refugees walk down a railroad towards Hungary near the northern Serbian town of Horgos on August 28, 2015. © AFP

Some 1,000 Hungarian border guards currently control the 175-kilometer (108-mile) frontier, and 2,000 more are slated to join them from September 1, the government says.

Official data show over 140,000 refugees, most of them fleeing conflicts in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, have entered Hungary from Serbia this year hoping to continue their journey to reach western European countries.

The European Union has been struggling to find a response to the unprecedented influx of refugees fleeing war and unrest in their homeland.

On Thursday, the bodies of over 70 asylum seekers were discovered crammed inside an abandoned truck near the Hungary-Austria border. The incident triggered huge reactions across Europe, with many European leaders calling it a huge shock amid a growing refugee crisis in the continent.

A record 107,000 refugees were at the EU borders in August, according to the bloc’s border agency, Frontex.

The largest group of asylum seekers by nationality in 2015 has been Syrians – followed by Afghans.

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