Refugees to be diverted from unsafe Swansea

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The Independent Online

Asylum-seekers are being diverted from a city where an Iraqi Kurd was killed, following pleas from the police and anti-racist groups.

Asylum-seekers are being diverted from a city where an Iraqi Kurd was killed, following pleas from the police and anti-racist groups.

Family and friends of Kalan Karim, 29, who died after being attacked outside a pub in Swansea last month, have warned that racial hatred was worsening in the city.

They claimed that every one of the city's estimated 180 Iraqi Kurds had suffered abuse. Just 2.2 per cent of the city's 224,000 population is non-white but its ethnic minority community is increasing.

The Home Office said yesterday it had postponed plans to send more asylum-seekers to Swansea, already home to about 600 refugees. A spokeswoman said: "We wanted to make sure that when people come to Swansea we give them the right support and they are welcome. We will work in partnership with local police and the local authority and will take their advice."

Taha Idris, director of Swansea Bay Race Equality Council, said voluntary groups, which had become stretched after Mr Karim's killing, needed more time to prepare. He said: "There is no racism problem in Swansea. We appealed to the Home Office and I am happy they listened to us."

Cliff Filer, acting chief superintendent of South Wales Police, said it was important "to ensure that the existing minority ethnic communities are comfortable and confident before we welcome additional asylum-seekers to the county".

Mr Karimwas walking home with a friend when he was attacked. A 26-year-old man has appeared in court accused of his murder.

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