refugee crisis

Greek police evacuating refugee camp containing over 8,000 people

The move is expected to take at least 10 days.

HUNDREDS OF GREEK police have started to clear the camp where thousands of people have been camped out for more than three months.

The Idomeni camp, located on the Macedonia border, has become an overcrowded site for desperate refugees and migrants. The camp is currently home to 8,400 people, including many families with children.

Greece Migrants Migrants wait in the line for food distribution at the camp. AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

The operation began today shortly after sunrise and is expected to take at least 10 days.

No force was used as officers, who started to arrive at the camp yesterday, urged people to leave their tents and board buses waiting nearby to transfer them to reception centres.

camp location Location of the Idomeni camp / maps / maps / maps

Officials said that most migrants will be moved to camps at former industrial facilities near the Greek city of Thessaloniki, which is located about 80km to the south.

The move comes after a brutal winter of freezing rain and mud which saw many people trying to force their way across the border, sometimes resulting in a violent standoff with the Macedonian police.

But officials said today’s operation was proceeding calmly in the flashpoint camp, which has often been the scene of angry confrontations with the security forces.

Yiorgos Kyritsis, the government’s migration spokesman, told AFP:

The operation began on Tuesday around 0400 GMT and is taking place slowly and in a calm atmosphere. There has not been any need to use force.

Greece Migrants A woman and children look out from a tent in flooded part of the Idomeni camp on Saturday. AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

- © AFP, 2016

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