Children suffering: A true picture of Europe’s migrant crisis

Pepper spray and tear gas overwhelm a migrant girl Wednesday at the Hungarian border in Horgos, Serbia.

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Hungarian police drive migrants back with tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons

Photos detail the heartbreaking aftermath for migrant children

At the Hungarian-Serbian border CNN  — 

No wonder the children cry.

They’re thousands of miles from home, wandering from country to country, sleeping on the ground. They have no toys. Some lost their shoes.

The danger and futility of the European migrant crisis was once again captured in photos of the youngest travelers.

On Wednesday, a group of migrants massed on the Serbian-Hungarian border, seeking to enter the European Union.

A migrant girl has stinging chemicals washed from her eyes Wednesday in Horgos, Serbia.

Hungary had sealed the final hole in its border with Serbia on Tuesday, shutting off a popular route for tens of thousands of people in Europe’s migrant crisis.

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The move left desperate men, women and children – most fleeing violence in the Middle East – blocked from entering Hungary by a razor-wire fence.

A girl cries after Hungarian police use tear gas and water cannons on migrants at the border.

At Horgos, Serbia, they forced their way through, some adults carrying children in their arms or pulling them by the hand.

Hungarian police drove them back with tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons.

Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs told CNN on Wednesday that Hungarian forces had been driven to respond when young men armed with sticks and stones tried to enter. He maintained that “proportionate police force” was used.

But the aftermath was heartbreaking.

Hysterical children wailed in their parents’ embrace. Adults doused children’s eyes with bottled water to wash out the stinging chemicals.

A migrant receives help after Hungarian authorities use tear gas on the Serbian border.

Children barely able to walk wept uncontrollably, with no understanding of why they’re not at home.