‘Woman and child killed’ as migrants set fires at Greek camp
About 12,000 migrants are housed in a space designed for 3,000 at the Moria camp on Lesbos.
Migrants protesting at an overcrowded camp on the Greek island of Lesbos have set fires and clashed with police, authorities said.
Police and local authorities said there were unconfirmed reports of two fatalities at the Moria camp. The protesters were demanding to be transferred to the Greek mainland.
“The situation is tense,” Lesbos mayor Stratis Kytelis told the Associated Press. “There is information about a dead mother and her child. We haven’t been able to confirm that yet.”
UNHCR Greece later tweeted: “We learned with deep sadness that the lives of a woman and a child were lost in a fire on (Lesbos) today.”
We have learned with deep sadness that the lives of a woman and a child were lost in a fire on #Lesvos today. We are ready to support those affected and authorities by all means possible. pic.twitter.com/gPDjyLi0fm— UNHCR Greece (@UNHCRGreece) September 29, 2019
Greek police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Theodoros Chronopoulos said the migrants set a fire at an olive grove outside the camp and, minutes later, inside the camp.
Mr Kytelis said both fires were later extinguished, but he was not yet able to enter the camp to assess the damage or confirm the deaths.
Police said deputy citizen protection minister Lefteris Oikonomou, a former chief of the Greek police, was going to Lesbos.
About 12,000 migrants, most of them Afghans, are housed in a space designed for 3,000.
Separately, Greek police said a speeding car carrying 12 Afghan migrants ran through a red light and crashed into a vehicle coming from a side street, killing its driver, a 64-year-old Greek man.
Police said one migrant was seriously injured and three were slightly injured in the crash on Sunday morning on a road between Kavala and Thessaloniki in northern Greece.
Some of the migrants were found in the car’s boot.
The driver of the car with the migrants has been arrested. Police said he is a 25-year-old Moldovan trafficker who was taking migrants towards Thessaloniki, 14 miles to the west.
A police spokesman said the trafficker’s car was not being pursued, but other officials said it might have been monitored by authorities in an unmarked vehicle.