Violent riots broke out in the largest reception center for asylum seekers in Cyprus. The reason is the conflict between different nationalities. The Purnara camp in Kokinottrimythia has been overcrowded for months.
The camp is built to accommodate about a thousand people, but twice that number reside in it. This has also led to turmoil in the past.
According to Cyprus public radio, riots broke out this morning. Groups of migrants pelted each other with stones and other things. Several people were injured and one person was taken to hospital.
There was also a fire. Mayor Christakis Melitis confirmed that dozens of people had fled the camp and moved to nearby villages. Riot police arrived and fired tear gas. The situation calmed down a bit in the afternoon.
According to local media, fighting broke out between the Congolese and Nigerians, the two largest groups of asylum seekers in the camp. Due to its location in the southeast of the Mediterranean, Cyprus hosts many migrants seeking asylum in the European Union. The country has long requested that refugees be deployed throughout the European Union.
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