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Refugee Crisis: Graphic Images Show People Hit With Tear Gas And Water Cannon By Hungarian Police

17/09/2015 15:28 | Updated 17 September 2015

Graphic pictures have shown the aftermath of tear gas and water cannon used on people at the Hungarian border on Wednesday.

In one particularly shocking set of images, a man with blood streaming down his face is shown cradling a terrified child, while riot police stand with shields raised and tear gas swirls around.

Other pictures showed people trying to wash tear gas from their eyes and reacting to police.

On Thursday, Hungary's ambassador to the United Kingdom defended his country's treatment of refugees after the UN Secretary General said he was "shocked" at its behaviour.

Peter Szabadhegy told BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning that the criticism of Hungary was "misplaced".

"Hungary is facing a huge migration crisis, just to put it into perspective, just a year to date there have been 200,000 migrants who have crossed Hungary's border. That is exceeding the size of the second largest city in Hungary," he said.

And he said it Hungary had a right to prosecute refugees who "vandalise fences and attack police".

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A man cradles a child after police fire tear gas at people near the Hungarian border

The incident took place after refugees broke through a razor wire fence at the country’s border with Serbia.

Some frustrated migrants threw plastic water bottles and rocks at helmeted riot police and chanted demands that the border be re-opened.

The clashes took place at a small border crossing in the Serbian village of Horgos, a short distance from the main border crossing into Hungary.

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Before the tensions escalated, some women pushed to the front of the crowd and held small babies and children above their heads as they faced police in an obvious appeal for mercy, but no one made it through.

Serbian authorities sent ambulances to the site but it wasn't immediately clear how many people were injured, according to AP.

Hungarian authorities said on Wednesday that they had arrested a total of 519 migrants who tried to cross the border since tough new laws went into effect on Tuesday that make it a crime to cross from Serbia anywhere other than at legal checkpoints.

Many of those attempting to cross the borders are refugees from war-torn countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Christopher Furlong via Getty Images
    A migrant girl is overcome by pepper spray and tear gas after Hungarian police repelled an attempt by migrants to break the border post gate and pull down the razor wire fence on in Horgos, Serbia.
  • Christopher Furlong via Getty Images
    A migrant girl is comforted after being overcome by pepper spray and tear gas
  • Srdjan Stevanovic via Getty Images
    Hungarian police use pepper spray against migrants at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border
  • Christopher Furlong via Getty Images
    A migrant girl has face washed after being hit by pepper spray and tear gas
  • Srdjan Stevanovic via Getty Images
    Hungarian police use pepper spray against migrants at the Horgos border
  • ARMEND NIMANI via Getty Images
    A refugee throws a stone towards Hungarian riot police after they used water cannon and pepper spray
  • ARMEND NIMANI via Getty Images
    Hungarian riot police use pepper spray to push back refugees
  • ARMEND NIMANI via Getty Images
    A refugee holding on to his daughter gestures at Hungarian riot police after they used water cannon and pepper spray to push back refugees
  • ARMEND NIMANI via Getty Images
    A refugee woman reacts after Hungarian riot police used pepper spray
  • ARMEND NIMANI via Getty Images
    A refugee reacts during clashes with Hungarian riot police
  • Srdjan Stevanovic via Getty Images
    Hungarian police use pepper spray against refugees
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Hungarian police use pepper spray on migrants
  • ARMEND NIMANI via Getty Images
    Hungarian riot police uses water canon and pepper spray to disperse refugees
  • ARMEND NIMANI via Getty Images
    Hungarian riot police use pepper spray
  • ARMEND NIMANI via Getty Images
    A refugee woman wipes her eyes after police used pepper spray and water cannon to push back refugees
  • ARMEND NIMANI via Getty Images
    Hungarian riot police use pepper spray
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Hungarian police use pepper spray at the "Horgos 2" border crossing into Hungary
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Afghan migrants rest on a roadside near Hungary's border fence with Serbia, in Asotthalom.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    An elderly Afghan migrant rests on the ground of a field while she and others being detained by Hungarian police on horses for sneaking through Hungary's border fence with Serbia, in Asotthalom, southern Hungary.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Afghan migrants rest on a roadside near Hungary's border fence with Serbia
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Afghan girl Parisa Sayed Jalil, 4, rests on her father's lap in a field, while they and others are detained by Hungarian police on horses for sneaking through Hungary's border fence with Serbia.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Afghan migrants sit on the ground of a field while being detained by Hungarian police on horses.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A family from Syria arrive the border between Serbia and Croatia near Tovarnik, eastern Croatia.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Refugees rest near the border station between Serbia and Hungary in Horgos
  • Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    Hungarian security forces stand guard as refugees continue waiting on the Serbian - Hungarian border
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Hungarian military cartographers walk by the temporary border fence between Hungary and Serbia in a field near the Serbian and the Romanian borders.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    An Austrian border police man checks a vehicle at the border
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