SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — A group of 8 migrant families, including 15 children, found sheltering in a ruined house have been moved to an organized facility for asylum-seekers, Bosnian authorities said Friday.
A total 32 people were found in the northwestern town of Velika Kladusa, in what officials called an abandoned and “devastated” house.
Thousands of migrants live stranded in impoverished Bosnia, a key stage in an arduous journey through the Balkans to Europe’s prosperous heartland. Most are housed in organized camps, but hundreds sleep rough near the border with European Union member Croatia, in the hope of surreptitiously crossing over.
Bosnia, which has still to recover from the wounds of its 1992-1995 war that left the country ethnically divided, has struggled to cope with the influx of people fleeing war and poverty.
Most enter Bosnia illegally from neighboring Serbia, often with the help of people-smugglers. On Friday, authorities in the border town of Zvornik said they had intercepted a boat carrying 13 migrants from Serbia over the Drina river.
Police said two people from the group, who both said they were from Afghanistan, have been detained for allegedly organizing the attempted crossing.