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The Latest: UNHCR says Macedonia only accepting Afghans, Syrians, Iraqis crossing from Greece

The latest news as hundreds of thousands make their way across Europe in search of safety and a better life. All times local:

11:20 a.m.

The United Nations refugee agency says Macedonia has begun allowing only people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to cross its southern border from Greece, while Greek authorities say migrants of other nationalities are gathering on the Greek side of the border and blocking the crossing completely.

Aleksandra Kraus, UNHCR spokeswoman in Macedonia, said Thursday that Macedonian authorities had begun allowing only people from war zones to enter the country because Serbian authorities had imposed the same criteria on those attempting to cross the Macedonian-Serbian border.

In the Greek border area of Idomeni, police said the border has essentially been shut to all since about 8 a.m. (0600 GMT) after a group of roughly 300 people, mostly from Iran, gathered at the crossing seeking also to be allowed through. A further 2,500 people are waiting in a camp set up nearby to provide shelter for those heading north through the Balkans.