NEWS

Patra police break up migrant brawl

TAGS: Migration

Police in the western city of Patra were on standby Friday following a brawl that left three migrants injured on Thursday night at an abandoned building near the port that is being used as a makeshift camp.

Around 120 migrants and refugees have been camping in the building over the past few weeks in the hopes of sneaking onto a ferry boat bound for Italy.

Police arrived at the former warehouse where the migrants have been staying after local residents reported sounds of fighting. The brawl was apparently triggered by personal differences among a group of men believed to be Afghan nationals. Officers remanded 10 individuals in custody, while paramedics treated two of the three injured men at the scene. The third was transferred to a local hospital, from which he was released shortly after.

There have been reports of increased tensions at migrant reception centers around Greece, where thousands are awaiting the outcome of asylum applications or deportation. Some have been cooped up in the centers for months, leading to frustration and anger that fuel frequent clashes.

Authorities have also been unsettled by a slight uptick in migrant arrivals from neighboring Turkey in recent weeks. Although the arrivals are close to the levels seen after Ankara signed a deal with the European Union in March to crack down on migrant smuggling across the Aegean, there are concerns that domestic turmoil prompted by a failed coup in the neighboring country could lead to laxer implementation of the deal by Turkish authorities.

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