BUDAPEST, Hungary — Thousands of migrants stranded in Hungary's capital after being refused rail travel to Western Europe were met by far-right activists Wednesday.
Authorities in Budapest set up a makeshift migrant camp near the main railway station after trains were halted indefinitely in an attempt to cope with the deepening migrant crisis across Europe.
Members of Hungary's far-right Jobbik political party were among the first to pitch a tent at the camp, which NBC News visited on Wednesday. Across its entrance they hung a banner saying: "Budapest is not a refugee camp."
The city has served as a transit point for migrants trying to get to wealthy Western European countries from the Middle East and Africa. It became a bottleneck Tuesday after authorities stopped all trains from Budapest Keleti railway station, its main international terminal, and security forces barred people from entering the building.
Thousands outside the station chanted: "Freedom! Freedom!" and "What we want? Peace! What we need? Peace!"
A 67-year-old local man who only gave his name as Laszlo told NBC News he was "speechless" at the standoff.
"I want to know, who is responsible for this? Hungary, Austria, Germany, the E.U.?" he said with tears in his eyes. "And what were these people thinking…to drag their children all the way here...even babies...what did they expect?"
Speaking of the migrants, he added: "They arrived without documents, they don't want to be fingerprinted [or] registered, they only want to be here illegally"
One of those who was attempting the journey was 30-year-old Anoud, who said he had fled the ISIS-held stronghold of Raqqa, Syria.
Anoud, who asked to be identified only by his first name, told NBC News he and his family bought tickets worth $1,200 to travel to the German city of Hamburg, but "now they don't allow us on the train."
He added: "I asked for the money back, but no luck. Is this fair to you? Some say we will go to a camp, but we don't want to. We will wait here until they reopen the station. All we want is to go to Germany."
Halting the trains appeared to have an immediate affect on the migrants' primary target of Germany. Police there reported only around 50 migrants arrived on trains into Munich, compared with 2,400 on Tuesday, the AP reported.