Greece: Deadly fire triggers riots at Moria refugee camp

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Media captionMigrants struggle with the effects of fire tear gas in their camp

At least one person has died after a fire broke out at an overcrowded refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, local officials say.

They say the charred body of a woman was found at Moria camp. But unconfirmed reports say there was another victim, a child.

Police later fired teargas against rioting migrants, who said firefighters were too slow to respond to the blaze.

The camp houses about 12,000 people in tents and shipping containers.

But it only has an official capacity of 3,000 – leading to severe overcrowding.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The fire started at one of the shipping containers housing refugees
Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Migrants – both adults and children – tried to avoid tear gas fired by Greek police

In 2018, the UN refugee agency urged Greece to move asylum seekers from Lesbos after the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme exposed appalling conditions there.

Lesbos has been hit hard by the migrant crisis, with the local authorities deadlocked over what to do with new arrivals.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Angry men earlier attacked housing facilities at the camp

Greece has also been dealing with a resurgence in recent weeks of refugee and migrant flows from neighbouring Turkey.

Nearly one million refugees, including many fleeing war in Syria, crossed from neighbouring Turkey to the Greek islands in 2015.

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Media captionAsylum seekers at Moria camp on Lesbos have complained of deadly violence


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