ZAGREB, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Fifteen migrants have been rescued from the Pljesivica Mountain in central Croatia, the police here announced on Wednesday.
The migrants entered Croatia through the snow-covered mountain and a winter storm that almost took their life. Six children and five women were taken to a nearby hospital.
The migrants illegally crossed the Croatian-Bosnian border in order to pass through towards Slovenia and further west to other EU countries.
In recent months, Croatia is facing an increased influx of illegal migrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). According to the Bosnian government, more than 20,000 migrants have been registered in BiH in 2018. Many of them are traveling on the so-called "Balkan Route" to Western Europe, passing through Albania, Montenegro, and Bosnia. From Bosnia, they try to reach Croatia and then Slovenia that is at the moment the Schengen (EU members) passport-free border.
Croatian Ministry of the Interior warned in December about the upcoming winter conditions that may be seriously dangerous to all people who are attempting to illegally enter the country. On Wednesday, the ministry called again all non-governmental organizations and others who help migrants on the "Balkan route" to inform them how to legally enter the country and warn them of the risk of possible injuries and frostbite if they choose the illegal path.
"We prevented such casualties yesterday thanks to the police efforts, emergency medical aid, firefighters and the winter service," the ministry's website stated.