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Police struggle to control Lesbos migrant crowd

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 01:16

Tensions turn into confrontation between police and frustrated migrants on Lesbos, as Greek authorities struggle to register hundreds of new arrivals on the island. Display (no reporter narration).

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DISPLAY (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Greek authorities on the island of Lesbos struggled to contain and register hundreds of new migrants increasingly desperate to reach the mainland on Wednesday (September 16). Tensions rose as a large crowd gathered outside Moria camp, near Mytilene, where migrants from all countries but Syria are gathered to be registered before they can secure a passage to Piraeus. Police in riot gear used shields, and occasionally batons, to repel the crowd and force migrants to wait in lines for entry to the camp. "Please, be fast, because we can't wait, we waste our money, we don't have place, as you see there is no suitable place for live and stay. We just want our ticket to go to the Athens, that's all I want", Ali Reza, from Afghanistan, said as he overlooked the scene. He arrived two days ago, received his number, but has been unable to leave the island. He is afraid he might have to wait even longer, as he doesn't want to fight through the crowd. Usually, upon arrival, migrants, coming mainly from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, but also Iran, receive a number and are then called according to this number to enter the closed registration area. On Wednesday, in response to the situation, the police decided to give up the procedure and to speed up the entire process: migrants were being filtered and allowed to enter in small groups. From Moria camp, UNHCR's emergency protection officer Djamal Zamoum renewed his call on the European Union and the international community to provide greater support to the Greek government. "It depends how the situation will evolve in the next few days, but the higher the numbers, the higher the risks for the situation to become explosive", he said. On Wednesday, many new boats overcrowded with migrants and refugees were still arriving on the northern part of the island.

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Police struggle to control Lesbos migrant crowd

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 01:16