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03:22

Greece: Fire and tear gas as protesters try to block construction of new Lesbos migrant camp

Greece, Mytilene
February 25, 2020 at 18:36 GMT +00:00 · Published

Protesters started fires in the streets of Mytilene early on Tuesday morning as they demonstrated against government plans to build new migrant camps on the island of Lesbos.

Later in the day, riot police deployed tear gas as protesters tried to block camp building equipment from reaching the construction site.

The equipment is set to be used to build a new closed camp to replace the existing Moria camp, which suffers from chronic overcrowding and poor living conditions.

Fires burning, and residents suffering the effects of tear gas after a gas canister nearby erupted could be seen. Drone footage also shows the trucks blocked by cars and protesters on a motorway.

One resident said the current situation was "it's almost like war," and an insult to democracy. Another said that police had created "inhumanity, for both of the refugees and for the residents of the island."

The refugee crowding in the Greek camps had temporarily eased following a deal between the EU and Turkey but has worsened in recent months. With 74,613 arrivals in 2019, according to the UNHCR, Greek islands continue to be the main entry point for illegal immigration in the EU.

03:22
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Description

Protesters started fires in the streets of Mytilene early on Tuesday morning as they demonstrated against government plans to build new migrant camps on the island of Lesbos.

Later in the day, riot police deployed tear gas as protesters tried to block camp building equipment from reaching the construction site.

The equipment is set to be used to build a new closed camp to replace the existing Moria camp, which suffers from chronic overcrowding and poor living conditions.

Fires burning, and residents suffering the effects of tear gas after a gas canister nearby erupted could be seen. Drone footage also shows the trucks blocked by cars and protesters on a motorway.

One resident said the current situation was "it's almost like war," and an insult to democracy. Another said that police had created "inhumanity, for both of the refugees and for the residents of the island."

The refugee crowding in the Greek camps had temporarily eased following a deal between the EU and Turkey but has worsened in recent months. With 74,613 arrivals in 2019, according to the UNHCR, Greek islands continue to be the main entry point for illegal immigration in the EU.

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