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1,500 migrants break through barrier into Austria, march forward on foot

VIENNA, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Turbulent scenes have emerged in Austria's south on Wednesday as 1,500 migrants broke through a police barrier and set off on foot by themselves heading north, local media reported.

They had been at a gathering point for migrants in the Styrian town of Spielfeld near the border to Slovenia, where they had come to Austria through, when the incident occurred at around midday, the Kronen Zeitung reported.

About 2,000 migrants had gathered at Spielfeld in the morning, a police spokesperson saying the wait for onward transport to refugee quarters appeared to be part of the reason for the decision to push forward on foot.

The group had set off on the B 67 road, before the majority turned back. The remainder however pushed on at walking pace, reaching the town of Leibnitz or beyond, causing the road to be difficult for traffic to pass through.

It is also believed some were incorrectly informed about the remaining distance to the German border, with those realising the hundreds of kilometres of remaining distance while underway then choosing to return to Spielfeld.

The influx of migrants from Slovenia into Spielfeld had reportedly continued unabated into the evening, with some 3,000 being cared for.

Klaus Steinwendter, Red Cross operations manager for the Spielfeld gathering point, said the situation there was tense and "heated," with shouting continuously heard. Many of the migrants would wait for hours for buses, to take them to emergency shelters and further in the direction of Germany.

Overnight into Wednesday 4,300 migrants had been staying at emergency shelters in the state of Styria, with a further 2,400 at gathering points or transit zones, the Red Cross said.

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