ATHENS – Police said a 31-year-old Syrian refugee was killed in a violent fight at an asylum processing center north of Greece’s capital, the latest incident in many clashes at detention centers and camps so overcrowded they’ve been condemned by human rights groups.
The man died of massive head injuries probably sustained during a brawl, allegedly between rival groups of Syrian and Afghan residents at the camp, said Kathimerini. There were unconfirmed reports of a second fatality and that eight people were injured enough to be taken to a hospital for treatment.
It is not clear what triggered the fight, though violence at migrant camps where resources are limited are not uncommon, especially on Greek islands housing more than 15,000 refugees and migrants who were sent there by human traffickers that Turkey lets operate during a suspended swap deal with the European Union.
The government said it would start moving some of the refugees and migrants to mainland camps and centers already housing nearly 50,000 more, with the EU reneging on promises to take some of the overload and closing its borders to them, dumping the problem largely on Greece during a more than eight-year-long economic crisis.
Riot police have had on many occasions been called into the camps and centers to quell violence between ethnic groups and with frustration growing over more than two-year delays in processing asylum applications, with virtually all the refugees and migrants seeking to stay in Greece because they are barred from other EU countries.