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Migrants set fire to EU asylum offices on Lesbos

Monday, October 24, 2016 - 00:29

Asylum-seekers at a migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, angry over delays in processing their claims, attack the European Union asylum offices setting it on fire. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - NATURAL (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Asylum-seekers attacked the premises of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) on the island of Lesbos on Monday (October 24) , protesting against delays in dealing with asylum claims, Greek and EU authorities said. About 70 people, most from Pakistan and Bangladesh, threw rocks and burning blankets at EASO containers inside the Moria migrant camp, damaging three of those, a Greek police spokesman for the island said. In a video obtained by Reuters, from a young Syrian man, heavy flames and smoke are seen engulfing containers in the camp. EASO Spokesman Jean-Pierre Schembri said protesters had hurled petrol bombs while interviews with asylum-seekers were taking place. EASO staff had evacuated the camp. Schembri said the asylum interview process would not resume for the time being and security issues would need to be evaluated, adding more Greek police presence was needed. The Moria camp is one of many overcrowded camps on the Greek islands where migrants are held while they wait for a decision on their asylum request. If it is rejected they are sent back to Turkey, from which they came, under a deal with the European Union. There are nearly 6,000 asylum-seekers on Lesbos island alone, nearly double the capacity its two camps can handle. Violence and protests over the asylum process and conditions are frequent. A fire ripped through the camp in September following a protest, burning down tents. More than 60,000 migrants are trapped in all of Greece, most requesting asylum. Asylum-seekers wait for weeks or months for their claims to be processed. Greece has been criticized for moving slowly on applications, but it has said it is overwhelmed by the large number of asylum requests.

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Migrants set fire to EU asylum offices on Lesbos

Monday, October 24, 2016 - 00:29