NEWS

As police raid Malakasa migrant camp, Moria struggles with bad weather

Dozens of children were crammed into an indoor playground near the Moria camp on Saturday night to protect them from the rain and cold as their shelters at the facility were inadequate.

TAGS: Migration

Greece’s anti-terror unit took part in the investigation of a deadly riot between Afghan and Syrian refugees on Saturday at a camp in Malakasa on the outskirts of Athens, due to suspicions that several of those involved were linked to Islamic terrorists.

However, Kathimerini understands that the suspicions of the anti-terror unit that “extremist elements” took part in the clash were not confirmed.

Police detained more than 100 people for questioning following the brawl that resulted in the death of a 31-year-old Syrian man and the injury of eight of his compatriots.

The police intercepted 40 Afghan suspects on a train in nearby Avlona as they were reportedly seeking to flee the region. Another 70 people – all Syrians – were also detained at Larissis Station in central Athens. Eleven suspects who have been linked to the physical assault on the 31-year-old are expected to face manslaughter charges.

Meanwhile, a gang of Syrian refugees at the Moria camp on the island of Lesvos have reportedly been operating drug smuggling and prostitution rings, according to a report by DW-TV. The report said it was not clear if the gang was directly or indirectly linked to Islamic State.

Greek police officials said that 498 foreign nationals had been arrested on Lesvos for various crimes since the beginning of the year but none had credible links to Islamic terrorism.

In another development, migrants who have been transferred from Moria to mainland Greece in order to ease overcrowding at the camp will have to return in coming months in order to see through their asylum applications, reports said on Monday.

The transfer of migrants to the mainland has so far failed to ease conditions at the camp as arrivals on the island have increased. In September 1,895 people were transferred from Moria to the mainland. But at the same time, 1,875 migrants arrived from the Turkish coast.

The dire situation of some 3,500 migrants living in tents inside and outside the camp has been compounded due to the bad weather. The army had initially offered to provide shelter to some 1,200 asylum seekers but this did not happen due to concerns locals would react, thinking they were taking care of migrants instead of them.

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