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FREILASSING, Sept 14, 2015:

German officers began carrying out the first passport checks at the country’s border with Austria, after Berlin’s shock decision to reintroduce such controls to halt a surge in refugee numbers, an AFP journalist witnessed on Sunday.

Police stopped all cars and pedestrians at the Freilassing crossing, with three Syrian migrants who were on foot told to remain on the side of the road after officers looked at their documents.

“We want to go to Germany,” one of the three told AFP.

The border crossing at the Bavarian commune is a key road crossing for travellers between the Salzburg region and the southern German region of Bavaria.

Four officers wearing fluorescent yellow vests were seen on duty and checking drivers’ identity cards.

German federal police had said hundreds of officers were being deployed to carry out the newly reintroduced border controls.

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