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Dublin: 15 °C Tuesday 17 September, 2019
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Riot police sent to island after 1,000 locked in football stadium in Kos

There are said to be two toilets in the stadium.

Police officers try to make space as migrants queuing for a registration procedure inside a stadium in Kos
Police officers try to make space as migrants queuing for a registration procedure inside a stadium in Kos
Image: Associated Press

OVER A THOUSAND migrants were locked into a football stadium on the island of Kos in Greece this week.

Now Greece has sent extra riot police to the island as tensions mount over the issue.

On Tuesday, photos showed police spraying migrants with fire extinguishers in an attempt to control the crowds as people queued up for a registration procedure.

Reports from the area said migrants were locked into the stadium to try and speed up the registrations.

Greece Migrants Source: Associated Press

Large numbers of people have been arriving on the island using rubber dinghies, after departing from nearby Turkey.

Migrants were relocated to a local football stadium after camping on roads and beaches on the island.

“Bloodshed” warning

Greece Refugee Crisis Police officers stand guard at an entrance to a stadium as migrants queue for a registration procedure in Kos Source: Associated Press

The island’s mayor, Giorgos Kiritsis, warned of “bloodshed” if the situation on the island of 33,000 people worsened.

AFP reports that around 7,000 migrants are waiting to apply for immigration papers.

Medecins Sans Frontiéres told AFP there are two toilets for over a thousand people (in the stadium) and a single water hose.

Greece Refugee Crisis Police officers try to make space as migrants queuing for a registration procedure inside a stadium in Kos Source: Associated Press

The island’s stadium, local gymnasium and police station are being used to register the migrants.

European migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos is expected to make an emergency visit to Athens today for talks with Greek ministers over the crisis.

Greece Refugee Crisis Source: Associated Press

The Greek government said it was “immediately” dispatching a ship to Kos to double up as an accommodation and processing centre for up to 2,500 people.

Photos show police pushing back migrants who were queuing, as large crowds gathered at the stadium.

Things were said to have calmed overnight, but migrants are still waiting to be processed.

Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said its teams in Kos had seen “harassment of migrants and refugees in public spaces, including private security men forbidding them from sitting on park benches in the city centre”.

Mayor Kiritsis said extra immigration officials had been sent to Kos to speed up the administrative procedure.

Greece Refugee Crisis A migrant argues with a police officer as they try to make space between migrants queuing for a registration procedure inside a stadium in Kos Source: Associated Press

MSF described how people were “piled up under the hot sun”, with some “hanging from the stadium railings, trying to jump inside”.

- Contains reporting from AFP

Read: Why have we not heard anything about Greece for a while?>

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