- Clashes broke out on Sunday between migrants and Macedonian police
- Britons among 17 activists arrested for spreading border opening rumours
- Comes as fresh violence broke out as migrants tried to scale border fence
Two Britons are among 17 activists arrested after violence erupted following false rumours that the Greek Macedonia border was opening.
Severe clashes broke out on Sunday between stone-throwing migrants and Macedonian police using tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets and a water cannon.
Scores were injured in the violence and Greek police have now swooped to arrest a number of activists for spreading rumours among the refugees at the Idomeni encampment that the border was to be opened up.
A man throws a tear gas shell back towards Macedonian police as migrants and refugees try to break down the border fence near their makeshift camp at the Greek-Macedonian border
About 100 migrants spread out over about 100 metres (yards) tugging at the wire fence, but swiftly pulled back when two squads of Greek riot police moved in
Greek riot police officers deploy along the border with Macedonia, as migrants in the background throw rocks across the border fence
According to the Telegraph, they were detained but all but one activist was later released by Greek police.
As well as the two Britons, the activists were from Germany, Austria, Holland, Sweden and Greece.
Today new clashes broke out between Macedonian police and stranded refugees and other migrants trying to scale a fence on Greece's border with the country.
Greek authorities say Macedonian police fired tear gas and stun grenades to deter a group of about 30 people from trying to get over the razor-wire fence using blankets.
Greek authorities say Macedonian police fired tear gas and stun grenades to deter a group of about 30 people from trying to get over the razor-wire fence using blankets
Macedonian police officers try to protect themselves from the rocks thrown by migrants from the Greek side of the border fence
Migrants and refugees hold a protest to call for the reopening of the border near their makeshift camp
No injuries were reported from Wednesday's clashes at the closed Idomeni border crossing in northern Greece.
About 11,000 people have been living in an informal tent city on the Greek side of the border for weeks, hoping Macedonia will let them continue their trek towards Europe's prosperous heartland.
Before the shutdown, which was triggered by a similar move in Austria, further north on the migration corridor, about 850,000 people who had arrived in Greece on smugglers' boats from Turkey had entered Macedonia from Idomeni.
The violence increased friction between the two Balkan neighbours - at odds for a quarter-century over Macedonia's official name - with Macedonia accusing Greece of doing nothing to stop the rioters and Athens denouncing Skopje's heavy-handed response.
Meanwhile, Italy’s coastguard says it has rescued some 4,000 migrants in the past two days, adding to fears of a fresh push to reach Europe via that route as the number of migrants landing in Greece sharply recedes.
A man washes his face with water after he was struck by the tear gas on the border of Macedonia and Greece
A man injured in the scuffles is carried from the scene while several others are seen wearing masks to help protect them from the gas
The scuffles erupted on the Greek-Macedonia border today after migrants attempted to pull down a fence
However, Macedonian police (pictured) responded by firing tear gas and stun grenades at the refugees
European Union President Donald Tusk warned of the impending explosion of the sea route, saying the number of would-be migrants in Libya is 'alarming', it was reported.
On Tuesday, 2,154 migrants were brought to safety in the Strait of Sicily between Italy and north Africa, on top of the 1,850 rescued in the area on Monday, the coastguard said.
A vessel from the EU border agency Frontex and a Greek cargo ship assisted the Italian navy in conducting a total of 25 rescue operations involving 16 dinghies and a rowing boat, officials said.
All the passengers survived.
War-torn Libya is the main jump-off point for migrants trying to reach Europe from north Africa.
A spokesman for the Libyan navy said that country’s coastguard intercepted a further six inflatable boats carrying 649 migrants off Sabratha, near Libya’s border with Tunisia, on Tuesday.
NUMBER OF WOULD-BE MIGRANTS IN LIBYA IS 'ALARMING', WARNS EU BOSS
The number of would-be migrants in Libya ready to attempt the sea crossing to Italy is 'alarming', EU President Donald Tusk has warned.
Fears are growing the route will see a huge increase in crossings this summer as calmer weather offers a better window for migrants prepared to risk their lives to reach Europe.
The so-called 'Mediterranean route' was once the most frequented journey for asylum-seekers attempting to reach continental Europe but in recent years was surpassed by the 'Balkans route'.
However, this year many of the Balkan countries frequented by migrants closed their borders and have refused to open them to refugees - sparking fears in a resurgence of the sea route.
Mr Tusk told the EU Parliament in Strasbourg today: 'The numbers of would-be migrants in Libya are alarming,' Bloomberg News reported.
'This means that we must be prepared to help and show solidarity to Malta and Italy should they request it.
'We must remember that the Balkan route is not the only one. I have in mind here the Central Mediterranean route.'
A group of migrants who set off for Italy from North Africa sit in a boat after being rescued by the Italian Navy
The migrant boat (pictured) was just one of many that saw 4,000 refugees rescued on the Mediterranean Sea in the past two days
The arrivals represent a sharp increase on the average daily numbers landing in Italy since the start of the year