12,000 migrants arrive in Slovenia; authorities ask EU for help

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12,000 migrants arrive in Slovenia; authorities ask EU for help
DOBOVA, SLOVENIA - OCTOBER 22: Migrants are escorted by police through Dobova as they walk to a holding camp on October 22, 2015 in Dobova, Slovenia. Thousands of migrants marched across the border between Croatia into Slovenia as authorities intensify their efforts to attempt to cope with Europe's largest migration of people since World War II. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
DOBOVA, SLOVENIA - OCTOBER 22: Migrants are escorted by police through Dobova as they are walked holding camp on October 22, 2015 in Dobova, Slovenia. Thousands of migrants marched across the border from Croatia into Slovenia as authorities intensify their efforts to attempt to cope with a human tide unseen in Europe since World War II. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
DOBOVA, SLOVENIA - OCTOBER 22: Young children pose for the camera as migrants are escorted by police through Dobova as they walk to a holding camp on October 22, 2015 in Dobova, Slovenia. Thousands of migrants marched across the border between Croatia into Slovenia as authorities intensify their efforts to attempt to cope with Europe's largest migration of people since World War II. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
DOBOVA, SLOVENIA - OCTOBER 22: Migrant children look through a metal fence as they rest at a temporary holding area after being escorted by police from the Croatian and Slovenia border October 22, 2015 in Dobova, Slovenia. Thousands of migrants marched across the border from Croatia into Slovenia as authorities intensify their efforts to attempt to cope with a human tide unseen in Europe since World War II. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
DOBOVA, SLOVENIA - OCTOBER 22: Migrants are escorted by police through Dobova as they walk to a holding camp on October 22, 2015 in Dobova, Slovenia. Thousands of migrants marched across the border between Croatia into Slovenia as authorities intensify their efforts to attempt to cope with Europe's largest migration of people since World War II. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
DOBOVA, SLOVENIA - OCTOBER 22: Migrants are escorted by police through Dobova as they are walked holding camp on October 22, 2015 in Dobova, Slovenia. Thousands of migrants marched across the border from Croatia into Slovenia as authorities intensify their efforts to attempt to cope with a human tide unseen in Europe since World War II. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
DOBOVA, SLOVENIA - OCTOBER 22: Migrants are escorted by police through Dobova as they walk to a holding camp on October 22, 2015 in Dobova, Slovenia. Thousands of migrants marched across the border between Croatia into Slovenia as authorities intensify their efforts to attempt to cope with Europe's largest migration of people since World War II. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
DOBOVA, SLOVENIA - OCTOBER 22: Migrants are escorted by police through Dobova as they walk to a holding camp on October 22, 2015 in Dobova, Slovenia. Thousands of migrants marched across the border between Croatia into Slovenia as authorities intensify their efforts to attempt to cope with Europe's largest migration of people since World War II. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
DOBOVA, SLOVENIA - OCTOBER 22: A young child is seen as migrants are escorted by police through Dobova as they walk to a holding camp on October 22, 2015 in Dobova, Slovenia. Thousands of migrants marched across the border between Croatia into Slovenia as authorities intensify their efforts to attempt to cope with Europe's largest migration of people since World War II. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
DOBOVA, SLOVENIA - OCTOBER 22: Migrants rest at a temporary holding area after being escorted by police from the Croatian and Slovenia border October 22, 2015 in Dobova, Slovenia. Thousands of migrants marched across the border from Croatia into Slovenia as authorities intensify their efforts to attempt to cope with a human tide unseen in Europe since World War II. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Migrant kids play as they wait to cross the Slovenia-Austrian border in Spielfeld, Austria, on October 22, 2015. Some thousands of people wait to cross the border at Spielfeld and continue further to Austria and Germany .AFP PHOTO / VLADIMIR SIMICEK (Photo credit should read Vladimir Simicek/AFP/Getty Images)
DOBOVA, SLOVENIA - OCTOBER 22: Migrants are escorted by police through Dobova as they walk to a holding camp on October 22, 2015 in Dobova, Slovenia. Thousands of migrants marched across the border between Croatia into Slovenia as authorities intensify their efforts to attempt to cope with Europe's largest migration of people since World War II. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
A group of about 1,000 migrants walks from the border crossing with Croatia, on October 22, 2015, near the village Rigonce to Dobova in Slovenia. More than 12,600 migrants arrived in Slovenia over a 24-hour period, police said on October 22, 2015, a record that surpasses even that in Hungary at the height of the crisis in September. AFP PHOTO / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants take a selfie at the border crossing in Spielfeld, Austria, on October 22, 2015. Some thousands of people wait to cross the border at Spielfeld and continue further to Austria and Germany. AFP PHOTO / VLADIMIR SIMICEK (Photo credit should read Vladimir Simicek/AFP/Getty Images)
Children, travelling along with a group of approximately 1,000 migrants, look on as Slovenian police officers stand before them while being escorted from the border crossing with Croatia, on October 22, 2015, near the village of Rigonce in Slovenia. More than 12,600 migrants arrived in Slovenia over a 24-hour period, police said on October 22, 2015, a record that surpasses even that in Hungary at the height of the crisis in September. AFP PHOTO / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
About 1000 migrants are escorted by Slovenian police officers from the border crossing with Croatia, on October 22, 2015, near the village Rigonce to Dobova in Slovenia. More than 12,600 migrants arrived in Slovenia over a 24-hour period, police said on October 22, 2015, a record that surpasses even that in Hungary at the height of the crisis in September. AFP PHOTO / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
DOBOVA, SLOVENIA - OCTOBER 22: Migrants are escorted by police through Dobova as they are walked holding camp on October 22, 2015 in Dobova, Slovenia. Thousands of migrants marched across the border from Croatia into Slovenia as authorities intensify their efforts to attempt to cope with a human tide unseen in Europe since World War II. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
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More than 12,000 migrants have crossed into Slovenia in the past 24 hours and thousands more are expected, prompting authorities to ask the rest of the European Union for help dealing with the flood of people.

Slovenia has asked the EU for police to help regulate the flow coming from Croatia, Interior Minister Vesna Gyorkos Znidar told TV Slovenia.

EU officials said Austria, Germany, Italy, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland offered to send police reinforcements.

"We are standing by Slovenia in these difficult moments, Slovenia is not alone," European migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said after meeting Gyorkos Znidar. The EU executive later said Slovenia had formally requested tents, blankets and other supplies under the bloc's disaster relief programmed.

Croatia also decided on Thursday to seek international help, the news agency Hina reported. The government in Zagreb said it would ask for blankets, winter tents, beds and containers. Since mid-September, 217,000 refugees have entered Croatia.

Migrants began streaming into Slovenia last Friday, when Hungary closed its border with Croatia. Before then, they were heading for Hungary - a member of Europe's Schengen zone of visa-free travel - and then north and west to Austria and Germany. Sealing the border diverted them to Slovenia, which is also a member of the Schengen zone.

The daily cost of handling migrants was costing the former Yugoslav republic 770,000 euros ($856,000), Gyorkos Znidar said. Illustrating the pressure on a nation of just 2 million, authorities said a big national league football match would not go ahead in the capital on Saturday because police were stretched too thin with the migrants to provide crowd control at the game.

"I WOULD GO HOME"

About 2,000 refugees and migrants were kept for hours in cold in a field outside Rigonce at the Croatian border. Later the police escorted them to a nearby refugee camp.

"I wanted to go to Sweden to continue my studies of banking and finances," Mohammad Labban, a 27-year-old Palestinian from Lebanon said. "But now I would rather go home than stay in such horrific conditions," he said.

Earlier, Sweden said it expected up to 190,000 migrants this year, putting unprecedented strain on a country famous for welcoming but which now has little option but to house tens of thousands through the winter in heated tents.

Mohamed Kattae, 50, a surgeon from the Syrian town of Aleppo who settled in Croatia in the 1980s came to Rigonce with his wife and four children to meet his brother whom he has not seen for 10 years.

"He is so frail and exhausted," he said, after he met his brother.

"He told me they slept for two days in the fields and in terrible conditions. I offered him to stay in Croatia but he wants to go to Germany," Kattas said.

The European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called an extraordinary meeting of several European leaders for Sunday.

Juncker invited the leaders of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.

($1 = 0.8990 euros)

(Additional reporting by Fatos Bytyci in Pristina, Alastair Macdonald in Brussels,Aleksandar Vasovic in Berkasovo and Daria Sito-Sucic in Sarajevo; Writing by Ivana Sekularac; Editing by Alison Williams)

Slovenia Calls for EU Help Amid Record Influx of Refugees

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