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Migrants, local residents clash on Greek island of Chios

Assailants lobbed firebombs at the migrant camp and a Syrian refugee was hit with a rock during clashes on the Greek island of Chios, authorities said. Previously, migrants allegedly broke into a liquor store.

The fire destroyed several tents and left around 100 migrants without shelter, Greek officials said on Friday.

A Syrian man "was hurt when unknown assailants threw a large rock" from atop a medieval fortress overlooking the refugee site, UN refugee spokesman Roland Schoenbauer told the AFP news agency.

The Friday fire marks the third day of unrest on Chios. Tempers first flared late on Wednesday, when a group of migrants broke into a local liquor store, as well as a fireworks shop. The refugees then launched fireworks at houses and cars, according to the police. Local security forces arrested four migrants over the incident.

The next day, residents clashed with migrants and the police in an apparent reprisal. A group of around 30 attackers beat up two volunteers helping at the camp, and the authorities detained 37 people over the violence.

Golden Dawn visits island

The UN's Schoenbauer said that the situation "has deteriorated seriously."

"The tensions are linked to the overcrowding of the sites," he said.

Other reasons for impatience include delays in processing the asylum claims and the threat of being deported to Turkey.

Earlier this week, senior lawmakers of the extreme right Golden Dawn party visited the island and urged the removal of migrants.

"We cannot exclude that far-right groups are seeking to exploit local anger," a local official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Watch video 05:06

The refugee hotel in Greece

dj/jm (Reuters, AFP, AP)

 

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