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Refugee crisis: Woman and child killed in fire at migrant detention camp on Greek island of Lesbos

Woman and young boy die in blaze started by cooking gas cannister 

Lizzie Dearden
Friday 25 November 2016 03:09 GMT
(AFP/Getty Images)

A young boy and a woman have been killed by a fire at a refugee detention centre on the Greek island of Lesbos.

Police said the two victims died after a blaze started by a cooking gas cannister spread at the Moria camp, where migrants are being held while facing deportation back to Turkey.

Two others were hospitalised, including another child, with extensive burns, an officer told the Associated Press.

The fire was put out late on Thursday night but the extent of the damage was not immediately clear. Asylum seekers clashed with police during the evacuation, which follows months of unrest over processing delays and dire conditions at the camp.

Lesbos is one of several Greek islands holding thousands of migrants - far over their capacity - waiting for decisions on their asylum applications after crossing the Aegean Sea.

The controversial EU-Turkey deal has seen all those arriving since March detained under the threat of deportation, causing the main route to Europe to shift to the Central Mediterranean Sea.

Tensions are running high among migrants unable to continue their journeys to Western Europe, with 61,000 people trapped in Greece by a series of border closures through the Balkans.

There have also been clashes with locals on some islands, with a camp on Chios coming under attack by a far-right mob armed with Molotov cocktails last week.

Britain and several other European nations have refused to resettle migrants arriving in Italy and Greece according to quotas.

2016 is now the deadliest year on record for refugees trying to reach Europe, with almost 4,700 people drowning or suffocating on overcrowded boats.

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