Three hurt as asylum-seekers clash on Greek island
October 15 2019 10:01 AM
The Greek island of Samos
The Greek island of Samos

AFP/Athens

At least three people were hurt in a clash between asylum-seekers in a town on the Greek island of Samos, police sources said Tuesday.

They said the violence, apparently between groups of Syrians and Afghans, erupted in the town of Vathy late on Monday.

A fire later broke out outside the camp that authorities managed to place under control early on Tuesday morning.

‘Half of the 6,000 people who are stuck in Vathy camp on Samos are women and children,’ medical charity MSF said in a tweet.

‘This nightmare must end! Children and other vulnerable people must be evacuated from the Greek islands to safe accommodation.’

Despite efforts to relocate people to the Greek mainland, there are over 32,000 migrants and refugees in camps on Aegean islands near Turkey, most of them vastly overcrowded, unhygienic and violence-prone.

Scores of asylum-seekers continue to arrive daily.

In September, a woman died and over a dozen people were injured in the camp of Moria on the island of Lesbos, the country's most overpopulated migrant facility.

There are over 13,000 people in Moria for under 3,000 places. Many sleep in tents outside the camp.

Greece is hosting some 70,000 asylum-seekers, mainly Syrians and Afghans. There are fears that Turkey's ongoing offensive in Syria will spark a new migration wave to Europe.

There is also growing exasperation on the islands and local authorities are urging the government to accelerate relocation efforts.

On Monday, a group of local residents on Lesbos gathered to protest as volunteers from Spanish rescue organisation Proactiva Open Arms prepared to land on the island.

Some threw stones at the organisation's rubber dinghy. There were no injuries and the organisation later downplayed the incident.




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