Thousands of Syrian refugees continue to reach Europe
Updated: 2015-08-28 09:04
BELGRADE - Refugees from Syria who camp in parks around the bus stations here revealed to Xinhua details of their risky, exhausting 4,000 km journey to escape civil war and hopefully reach Germany where they aim to build a new life.
55-year-old Mohammad, a businessman from the South of Syria, is one among 11 people waiting for a bus to take them to the Hungarian border.
His companions are, according to him, "above middle class" -- also businessmen, teachers, engineers to whom the prolonged armed combat between government and rebels became unbearable. They all had a spare 3,000 to 4,000 US dollars per person to pay for their way to safety.
"Syrian people are dying. Death is not strange to them. Whether you get killed in Syria, or you end up in the sea, or get shot by the coast guard of Turkey or Greece -- we know that we are dying. But we have only one choice -- do or die," Mohammad said, adding people sold all property and things of value to headed to the European Union (EU).
"Seventy percent of our families were killed by oil drums (exploding barrels filled with TNT, oil and chunks of steel)," he added.
On their dangerous journey across the sea from Turkey to Greece in a rubber boat that started two weeks ago, they lost 12 people from their group somewhere in the Aegean Sea, but the remaining ones kept on going towards Germany and other EU countries, across Macedonia and Serbia.
"Those boats can receive 10, maximum 15 people comfortably, but they put 55, sometimes 60, depending on if there are children," Mohammad said, adding engines, life vests, as well as boats themselves are of poor quality which makes the risk even greater.
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