BRATISLAVA: Thousands of people joined anti-migrant protests in three eastern European capitals on Saturday after leaders from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia opposed an EU scheme to fix refugee quotas.

In the Polish capital Warsaw, nearly 5,000 people, many chanting anti-Islamic slogans, marched through the city, an AFP correspondent said. “Islam will be the death of Europe”, one of the banners said.

Organisers claimed the demonstration drew 10,000 people but police refused to confirm the figure.

“We’re here so that the government hears our voice and abandons any plans to welcome Muslims,” shouted one of the organisers after starting the march with prayers which identified the participants as Roman Catholics.

Members of far-right fringe parties and football supporters chanted “Poles against migrants” and “Migrants today, terrorists tomorrow”.

Another thousand or so joined a “Welcome refugees” rally in favour of hosting migrants in Poland, a strongly Catholic EU member state which has a population of 38 million and has seen hardly any newcomers arriving, despite Europe experiencing its biggest movement of people since World War II.

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