The Latest: Report: Over 364,000 migrants reach Europe

BICSKE, Hungary (AP) — The latest news as tens of thousands of migrants pour into countries across Europe. All times local (CET):


6:35 p.m.

The number of migrants flowing into Europe is staggering this year.

The International Organization for Migration says more than 364,000 migrants have arrived in Europe so far — and over 2,800 have died along the way, most in the sea crossing from North Africa.

Greece and Italy have been the hardest-hit nations, seeing over 245,000 and nearly 117,000 arrive respectively, the vast majority by sea. Hungary said more than 163,000 migrants had crossed its land border.


6:15 p.m.

Hungarian authorities say a migrant has died at the train station in Bicske, collapsing as he fled a train where he had been stuck for two days with about 500 other migrants.

The man was among about 350 migrants who broke through a riot police cordon in the northern town to head west to Austria. In a standoff, the migrants had refused to go to a Hungarian processing center and police had refused to let the train travel on to Austria.

Medics tried to revive him. The National Ambulance Emergency Service said the man was about 50 and his precise cause of death was not yet known.


6:00 p.m.

British Prime Minister David Cameron says his government will consult with non-governmental organizations and others before saying how many Syrian refugees will be accepted into the UK.

Cameron said during a visit to Lisbon, Portugal on Friday that Britain would accept "thousands more" Syrian refugees. Hours later in Madrid, he said the exact number will be worked out in coming days.

Britain will receive only Syrian refugees from camps in the Middle East. The aim of that, Cameron said, was to "send the message out that the best way to get a new life is not to make this perilous journey" across the Mediterranean to Europe.


5:55 p.m.

British Prime Minister David Cameron says Britain will increase its aid for victims of the Syrian conflict by 100 million pounds ($152 million) to 1 billion pounds.

Cameron warned Friday, however, that "resettling refugees is not the answer to the problem."

He said, "To bring this crisis to an end, you need a comprehensive approach — you need a government in Libya, you need a solution in Syria," he said.

He said Britain won't join bombing operations against the Islamic State group in Syria until there is "genuine consensus" for that among the British people.


5:30 p.m.

Germany says customs authorities have intercepted packages mailed to Germany containing Syrian passports, both genuine and counterfeit.

Finance Ministry spokeswoman Friederike von Tiesenhausen said Friday that federal police are examining the passports, which were found during routine checks.

The chief of European Union border agency Frontex says trafficking in fake Syrian passports has increased, notably in Turkey. Syrians fleeing their country's civil war have a good chance of winning asylum in EU nations, making a Syrian passport very attractive.

(Corrects that Tiesenhausen is a spokeswoman for the Finance Ministry, not the Interior Ministry)


5:20 p.m.

In a joint statement, the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia are rejecting any quota system for accepting migrants in the European Union's 28 members.

Europe is staggering under an enormous surge of migrants this year, over 364,000 so far, according to the International Organization for Migration.

The four EU leaders said the bloc's approach should include "preserving the voluntary nature of EU solidarity measures." They insisted "any proposal leading to introduction of mandatory and permanent quota for solidarity measures would be unacceptable."

Germany expects to face 800,000 asylum applications this year and is pressing other EU nations to do more.


5:10 p.m.

Nearly a dozen new leftist Spanish town halls are working to create a network of cities to assist war refugees and say Spain should take in more migrants than the 2,739 the conservative government has agreed on.

The "refugee city" program started when Barcelona mayor Ada Colau announced the creation of a register of people who can take in or help refugees. She said Friday the city hall has received thousands offers.

Other cities such as Madrid and Valencia have followed suit. Madrid mayor Manuela Carmena promised to dedicate 10 million euros ($11 million) to the project.

Opposition groups have criticized the government's reluctance to take in more migrants. Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said Friday that Spain will probably take in more than previously announced.


4:55 p.m.

Amnesty International says angry Greeks brandishing bats attacked migrants on the island of Kos shouting "Go back to your countries!" — and that Greek police did not intervene quickly enough.

The rights group is urging Greek and European authorities to swiftly improve the "hellish" conditions faced by thousands of migrants awaiting screening on the eastern Aegean Sea island.

It said Friday that staffers saw a violent attack late Thursday by up to 25 people against the migrants. Amnesty said Greek police only intervened, using tear gas, after the physical attacks had started.

The rights group says up to 4,000 migrants are on Kos, which they reach in small boats from nearby Turkey, and the situation is dire. The island has no reception center so many sleep out in the open with little food or water.


4:40 p.m.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says the migration influx into Europe will be the continent's most important challenge for years and that European nations cannot refuse asylum to those who deserve it.

But Rajoy would not commit Spain to taking more than the 2,739 refugees it has pledged to accept. His position has been criticized by opposition politicians and contrasts with the 800,000 migrants Germany expects to take in this year.

Speaking Friday in Madrid with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Rajoy said Spain is creating a commission to determine "what is the joint position we will offer" on asylum seekers.

Cameron said earlier Friday that Britain was willing resettle thousands more Syrians.


4:25 p.m.

Hundreds of migrants have broken through a Hungarian riot police cordon at the Bicske train station, running westward on a train track and interrupting train traffic.

Surprised riot police scrambled for their helmets Friday as the huge crowd suddenly surged from the front of the train, site of a daylong standoff. Police pushed some migrants back onto the train amid much shouting, screaming and infants crying but were only able to block a minority of the estimated 500 people there.

An Associated Press reporter saw at least 200 migrants, probably more, running in a wide group along the railway line west of Bicske, heading for Austria 135 kilometers (84 miles) away.

The migrants had refused police demands to go to a processing center.


3:55 p.m.

Hundreds of frustrated migrants are marching out of Budapest, vowing to reach the Austrian border by foot after Hungarian authorities blocked them from taking west-bound trains.

Carrying bags and backpacks, they snaked through Budapest in a line nearly a half-mile long, hampering traffic at times, as they began the 171-kilometer (106-mile) journey to Austria.

The people, many Syrians fleeing war, want to eventually reach Germany or elsewhere in the West and are trying to avoid registering in economically depressed Hungary, which is more likely to return them to their home countries.


3:35 p.m.

Authorities in northern Greece say a refugee from Syria has been killed by a train while walking along railway tracks in the dark after entering the country from neighboring Turkey.

The 45-year-old man, who was carrying transit documents issued to migrants in Turkey, was hit early Friday near the village of Petrades. The train driver told police he was unable to brake in time.

While most migrants entering Greece from Turkey arrive by boat, some still cross the land border in Thrace, which mostly follows the Evros River. Greece has built a 12-kilometer (7.5-mile) fence along the remaining stretch where there is no natural obstacle.


3:25 p.m.

Germany is calling on European Union nations to restore a sense of unity in the face of the Europe's worst refugee crisis since World War II.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Friday "we will not cope with this task if we do not stop pointing with the finger at our neighbor." He said "blaming one another will not lead us to get the problem under control."

Steinmeier said that "Europe cannot let itself be divided, even in the face of such a challenge."

More than 364,000 migrants have arrived in Europe since the beginning of the year. Around 160,000 of them have entered Hungary, which blames Germany for encouraging more Syrians to apply for asylum.


3 p.m.

EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos says a fast-track processing center will be set up at Greece's main port of Piraeus, near Athens, where European teams will quickly fingerprint and process migrants.

He spoke Friday during a visit to the Greek island of Kos, which has been overwhelmed by a flood of migrants from the nearby Turkish coast. The center will determine who among those arriving is a refugee fleeing persecution or war and therefore entitled to asylum in Europe, and who is an economic migrant, who will be sent home.

Avramopoulos said the migration crisis is "directly linked to the geopolitical instability" of nearby countries. He added it "will not end in a night. And no measure can deal with it quickly and effectively. Method, system are needed, political will is needed."


2 p.m.

Ireland has announced it will take in at least 1,800 refugees, tripling initial plans announced in July to accept roughly 600 over the next two years.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said Friday that a more comprehensive response is needed to the "heartbreaking and tragic" events unfolding. She said the number accepted will be "in the thousands" but that no precise figure has been determined yet.

Fitzgerald is also calling for increased aid programs and an extension of the naval search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean.


1:55 p.m.

Slovak police say a small truck with 23 refugees from Syria on the way from Hungary to Germany has been involved in a fatal crash in northwestern Slovakia.

Police spokesman Martin Waldl says the Peugeot Lamar vehicle with a Polish plate carrying the migrants collided head-on Thursday with a car near the town of Cadca, near the border with the Czech Republic and Poland.

Waldl says the Polish driver was detained as well the refugees — 20 men and three teenagers — who fled the site of the crash. One person from the other car was killed. Waldl says investigators are questioning the driver and the migrants on Friday.


1:50 p.m.

The German government is declining to offer advice to Hungary on how to deal with migrants who refuse to be registered at camps there.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Friday he "can't give any recommendations to the Hungarian authorities or anyone else in the absence of precise knowledge of the situation in and around Budapest."

Refugees are trying to avoid Hungarian camps because they don't want to pursue asylum claims there. Hungary says the influx is Germany's problem because most want to go to Germany.

Seibert reiterated Berlin's position that a pan-European response is required. He noted Budapest's obligation to register, process and take care of migrants and said Germany "assumes that Hungary, as part of the Western community of values, will do justice to its legal and humanitarian obligations."


1:45 p.m.

The mayor of the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos is appealing for "immediate measures" to help alleviate the acute refugee and migrant crisis on his island, which is the entry point for about half of the hundreds of thousands who have arrived in Greece so far this year.

Spyros Galinos described the situation as a bomb about to explode in his hands. "I appeal to the prime minister for immediate measures," he told state television Friday. "We will have victims."

Earlier Friday, clashes broke out between police and about 1,000 people, mostly Afghans, who attempted to rush onto a ferry heading to Greece's main port of Piraeus, near Athens. Police fired stun grenades to repel the stone-throwing crowd.

Galinos said there were currently about 15,000 migrants on his island, of whom 7,000-8,000 were already registered and waiting to leave Lesbos for Athens but were unable to find ferry tickets. The government has chartered two ferries to transport the migrants, but with thousands of new arrivals each day, they have not been enough.

Galinos said he had proposed extra ferries as well as charter flights to defuse the overcrowding on the island. "I don't need one ship, I need a fleet," he said.


1:40 p.m.

European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans says the refugee and migrant crisis is nothing less than "a moment of truth in European history."

Speaking amid the chaos of arriving migrants on the Greek island of Kos, Timmermans said the EU is still looking for a balance between protecting those needing shelter and keeping those out who only seek economic fortune.

He said the "organized solidarity" of the European welfare state "would be completely undermined if we simply say everybody can come in." Timmermans added though that "Europe cannot survive either if we take leave of our values and our legal obligations" for those seeking protection from persecution and war.


1:20 p.m.

Police say the 71 people found dead in a truck last week on an Austrian highway probably suffocated but it will take weeks to be able to say so for sure.

They also said the victims, found Aug. 27 on the safety lane of the main highway from Hungary, included Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees.

Hans Peter Doskozil, police chief in Burgenland where the truck was found, said Friday in a similar case on the same day the bodies were found, 81 migrants managed to pry open another truck with a crow bar to gain access to fresh air.

He said no identities have yet been established yet and forensic work will continue for weeks.


12:45 p.m.

German police say they're investigating a fire at home for asylum seekers in the western state of Hesse in which five people were injured.

Police told the dpa news agency Friday that it was too early to say when they might be able to determine whether the blaze overnight at the building in Heppenheim was arson.

One man was seriously injured after he jumped from the second floor, while four others are being treated for minor smoke inhalation. The approximately 60 residents are now being cared for by the Red Cross.

Germans have generally been welcoming to the recent flood of migrants but there have been a string of attacks on unoccupied homes for asylum-seekers.

In Estonia, more than 50 people, including 13 children, were evacuated from an asylum center in Vao on Thursday following a fire that is being investigated as arson. No one was injured.


12:30 p.m.

The U.N. refugee agency says Britain will take a further 4,000 Syrian refugees from camps in the Middle East.

"We obviously welcome very much the move to increase resettlement spaces for Syrians in the UK. Those spaces are going to be critical to the lives and future of 4,000 people," said spokeswoman Melissa Fleming.

"We certainly believe that there's the momentum here" for other countries to follow suit.

Earlier, British Prime Minister David Cameron said only that his country would accept "thousands" more people, on top of the 5,000 already announced, and would give details next week.

A spokeswoman in the 10 Downing Street press office refused to confirm or deny the figure of 4,000, saying that no specifics would be provided until next week. She declined to be identified in line with government policy.

—By Jamey Keaten in Geneva and Greg Katz in London.


12:10 p.m.

Greece's coast guard says it has rescued hundreds of refugees and migrants from the sea near the eastern Aegean islands, a daily occurrence as hundreds of thousands flee war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia toward Europe.

The coast guard said it picked up 535 people in 12 incidents off the islands of Lesbos, Samos, Agathonissi, Kalolymnos and Kos from Thursday morning to Friday morning. That doesn't include hundreds who make it to the islands from the nearby Turkish coast themselves.

Scuffles broke out with police at Lesbos port Friday when about 1,000 people tried to rush onto a ferry to Piraeus, local media reported.


11:50 a.m.

British Prime Minister David Cameron says the United Kingdom will accept "thousands more" Syrian refugees to help Europe cope with a massive influx of migrants and refugees.

Cameron said Friday his country has already agreed to take around 5,000 Syrians fleeing from their country's war but as the crisis has grown it planned to accept more.

He says Britain intends to take Syrians directly from refugee camps in the Middle East, not from places where they have arrived in Europe.

He said "Britain will act with our head and our heart" on the issue.