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Anguish at the border: Five days in the refugee crisis

Friday, September 11.
A Syrian couple walk into Hungary after crossing the Serbian border. (Photograph by Francesca Volpi for Yahoo News)

Anguish at the border: Five days in the refugee crisis

Summer 2015 has seen the largest movement of refugees in Europe since World War II. Europe is scrambling to meet the challenges posed by the inflow of 381,000 who have reached the continent this year alone. Half of that number is made up of Syrians, with the remainder primarily from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and various states in Western Africa — refugees who are escaping similar political unrest and in many cases sure death.

Germany opened its arms and doors to the frightened and fleeing. The natural course to the German border is to go first through Serbia, then to Hungary and Austria to reach asylum. Hungary, overcome by the masses, declared an emergency on Monday, Sept. 14, deciding to close its border with Serbia, building a barbed-wire fence and stationing police officers to arrest those trying to cross.

On Wednesday, Sept. 16, with the Hungarian border closing, clashes broke out with desperate refugees throwing stones and water bottles. Exhausted and locked out, they were stranded on the Serbian-Hungarian border.

A thousand people made it onto a train to Austria before Hungary closed the border. Hundreds more must now map an alternative route into Europe. Refugees have begun to enter the country through Croatia and Romania instead. Hungary has already said it will extend its fence to seal the Romanian border. (Gabby Kaufman/Yahoo News)

On the ground and on assignment for Yahoo News, photographer Francesca Volpi bears photographic witness to this touching journey from Sept. 11 – 16, capturing all the determination, chaos and heartache that characterize the refugee crisis.

Here's a look at a few of her best from this small slice in this onging worldwide refugee crisis.



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