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At Least Two Dead After Fires At Greek Migrant Camp


A man and boy react after police fired tear gas during clashes outside the Moira migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos on September 29.

A riot broke out and at least two fires were set ablaze at an overcrowded refugee camp of mostly Afghan migrants on the Greek island of Lesbos on September 29.

At least two people, a mother and child, were killed, the Athens News Agency reported quoting police sources.

The overpopulated Moira camp is designed to house 3,000 people while four times as many migrants live there either in UN-supplied tents or containers.

"The situation is tense," Lesbos Mayor Stratis Kytelis told AFP.

Local police said the two fires, one sparked outside the camp near an olive grove then inside the compound, broke out within 20 minutes of each other.

Riots ensued as migrants clashed with police in protest at the cramped conditions as they demanded access to the mainland.

"We learned with deep sadness that the lives of a woman and a child were lost in a fire on [Lesbos] today," the Greek unit of the UN’s refugee agency said on social media.

Greece admits that it doesn’t have the capacity to accommodate so many migrants on the islands and its government has said it will discuss a new asylum law to deal with the migrant crisis.

The country hosts about 70,000 Syrian refugees and migrants who have fled their homeland since 2015.

Minister of State George Gerapetritis said on local television on September 29 that migrants should be sent to camps with humane conditions.

Ahead of the weekend, Citizen's Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis asked for regional governors to share the migrant burden of the country’s overcrowded islands.

Based on reporting by Al Jazeera, AP, AFP, and Athens News Agency
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