Train services disrupted as migrants stage sit-down at Larisis station

A group of about 500 refugees camp outside the Diavata refugee reception facility in Greece

A group of about 500 refugees camp outside the Diavata refugee reception facility in Greece

Athens' Larisis Station has been brought to a standstill with all services in and out suspended due to a sit-down protest by a group of migrants seeking passage to the Greek border.

The protesters are requesting for a bus to take them to the area of Diavata in northern Greece, where about 500 migrants, including families with small children, have gathered in a cornfield outside a camp since Thursday, following a call on social media to reach the border.

Police have used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse refugees and migrants during a second day of scuffles outside a camp in northern Greece.

Greece on Friday urged hundreds of migrants and refugees who have gathered in a field close to the country's northern border to return to their housing settlements, otherwise they could face sanctions.

Hashem Mojadam, a 36-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker, spent the night in the field and said he hoped to join others and walk to the border.

"There was a false report being distributed that the border would be opened".

Migration Minister Dimitris Vitsas issued a plea to migrants to return to camps that are officially known as hospitality centers.

"It's a lie that the borders will open", he told Greek state television ERT.

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"In worldwide treaties, there are obligations but there are also sanctions".

They had bought tickets to Thessaloniki, intending to also travel to the Diavata camp before authorities realised the plan and halted the train.

He added that the migrants had fallen victim to misinformation, most likely from human traffickers whom he said had told them "for some inexplicable reason that they will open the border". Turkish authorities have detained almost 1,200 migrants there, Turkish media reported.

It was then effectively shut down in a coordinated effort to curb the flow of people into Central and Western Europe.

Miltiadis Klapas, a Greek migration ministry official, said the latest movement towards the border was "the result of completely unfounded information that there will be a mass gathering on the borders and that they will open".

Authorities held 406 migrants in Edrine province, bordering Greece and Bulgaria, while 200 people were arrested while trying to cross to Bulgaria irregularly, according to Anadolu Agency.

The migrants, mostly Afghan, Iranian or Pakistani, referred to themselves as the "Convoy of Hope", it said.

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