Police detain dozens of migrants in Samos sweep

Police detain dozens of migrants in Samos sweep

Police on Wednesday carried out a sweep of Samos to round up dozens of migrants whose applications for asylum have been rejected for deportation to Turkey, but officers struggled to locate them all.

Authorities detained 138 people though many more are believed to be hiding out across the eastern Aegean island. There has been tension on Samos and Chios amid local opposition to the creation of so-called predeparture centers to host migrants whose asylum applications have been rejected.

The situation is less chaotic on Lesvos, Leros and Kos, which have such centers, though overcrowding remains a problem, particularly on Lesvos, which smugglers have started targeting again.

Meanwhile the European Asylum Support Office has pointed to a change in the ethnic makeup of the migrant influx, with only 13 percent of those who applied for asylum in the first five months of the year being from Syria, compared to 25 percent in 2015. More than a third (37 percent) of applications this year were made by Afghans.

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