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Riots Reported At Australian Migrant Detention Center

A riot has been reported at a remote detention center for asylum seekers in the Indian Ocean.

Australian immigration officials confirmed there was a "disturbance" at the detention center on the Australian territory of Christmas Island.

They said there were reports of damage, but no injuries. Other reports spoke of guards abandoning the facility after fencing was torn down and fires broke out.

Trouble began after the death of an asylum seeker -- identified by refugee advocates as an Iranian Kurd -- who had escaped from the facility on November 7.

The man's body was found the following day at the bottom of cliffs on the island. The cause of his death is under investigation.

Asylum seekers are a hot political issue in Australia. Successive governments have vowed to stop them reaching the mainland, sending those intercepted on unsafe boats to camps on Christmas Island, and more recently Manus island in Papua New Guinea and Nauru in the South Pacific.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters and AP

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