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13 detained after fire near second Greek refugee camp


A young refugee drags a box carrying his belongings as he walks along a road near the Kara Tepe camp on the Greek island of Lesbos on September 15, 2020. (Photo by AFP )

Thirteen people have been detained on the Greek island of Samos after a fire threatened the local migrant camp, police said Wednesday, days after another blaze destroyed Europeís largest migrant camp on Lesbos.

"We are examining the possible participation of these suspects in the incident," a Samos police source told AFP.

The officer declined to identify the nationalities of the suspects.

The fire broke out in a forested area near the Samos camp late on Tuesday, but firefighters were able to place it under control.

The Lesbos fire at Moria camp on September 8 left over 12,000 asylum seekers homeless. Police have arrested six migrants in connection with the incident.

Greek officials have said several times that the fire was started by migrants who faced isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus disease.

Need ístrongí EU response

European Council chief Charles Michel, flying to Lesbos after talks with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Athens, urged the 27-nation bloc to "take more responsibilities."

"We want to support the efforts made by the Greek authorities," Michel said.

"We need to make more progress to improve our border controls... we need to have more partnerships with third countries, we cannot solve everything alone," he said on a hill overlooking a new tent camp hastily put together by Greek authorities.

Iím deeply moved by the difficult situation of those stranded on #Lesbos. The EU wonít turn a blind eye to the challenge.

Itís our responsibility to support frontline countries & Greece.

Migration requires a coherent EU response based on values bringing us together.#MoriaCamp pic.twitter.com/rSQPepGVTY

- Charles Michel (@eucopresident) September 15, 2020

EU home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson said between "8-9,000 will be able to find immediate temporary shelter" there.

Five years after the arrival in Europe of over a million asylum seekers, many fleeing wars in Iraq and Syria, the question over how the bloc should share out its refugee responsibilities remains sensitive.

1,000 migrants in new camp

Many migrants have refused to enter the new camp of white tents near the eastern port village of Panagiouda, fearing they will be unable to leave once inside.

Others, though, have reluctantly made their way to the site in the searing heat.

UNHCR is supporting Greek authorities to assist thousands affected by the fires in Moria.

While we work on addressing immediate needs like ensuring people donít sleep in the open, longer term solutions are key. pic.twitter.com/kwatj7OIEN

- UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) September 15, 2020

On Tuesday, the Greek migration ministry said roughly 1,000 of the 12,000 Moria migrants had been housed at the site.

Among them, 21 have tested positive for coronavirus.

"Thereís nothing in the camp, no shower, no mattresses," Malik, an Algerian migrant, told AFP by phone from inside the camp where he now lives with his wife and five children.

"There is only one meal per day, and they give us a carton with six bottles of water," said the French language teacher.

 

(Source: Agencies)

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/20277


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