Migrants Burn Down Refugee Camp in Greece - At Least One Confirmed Dead
Migrants set fire to camp while clashing with police on Greek Island of Lesbos
Protesting migrants set fire to a refugee camp in Greece on Sunday following violent clashes with police, according to reports.
Authorities say the overcrowded camp on the Greek island of Lesbos was burned down by migrant protesters.
Police have confirmed that at least one person has been killed in the blaze, and a burned body was taken to a local hospital.
Investigators say there is also information about an unconfirmed second death, that may be a child.
Lesbos mayor Stratis Kytelis told The Associated Press that "the situation is tense" at the scene of the fire.
"There is information about a dead mother and her child," Kytelis revealed.
"We haven't been able to confirm that yet."
We have learned with deep sadness that the lives of a woman and a child were lost in a fire on #Lesvos today. We are ready to support those affected and authorities by all means possible. pic.twitter.com/gPDjyLi0fm— UNHCR Greece (@UNHCRGreece) September 29, 2019
UNHCR Greece later tweeted that "we learned with deep sadness that the lives of a woman and a child were lost in a fire on (Lesbos) today."
Police have yet to confirmed details of any more victims so far, however.
According to local reports, Greek police spokesman Lt. Col. Theodoros Chronopoulos told the AP that the migrants set a fire at an olive grove outside the camp just before 5 p.m. (1400 GMT; 9 a.m. EDT) and, minutes later, inside the camp.
Kytelis said that both fires were later extinguished.
Police said Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Lefteris Oikonomou, a former chief of the Greek police, was going to Lesbos.
About 12,000 migrants, most of them Afghans, are housed in a space designed for 3,000.
Separately, Greek police said a speeding car carrying 12 Afghan migrants ran through a red light and crashed into a vehicle coming from a side street, killing its driver, a 64-year-old Greek man.
Police said one migrant was seriously injured and three others were slightly injured in the crash Sunday morning on a road between Kavala and Thessaloniki in northern Greece.
Some of the migrants were found in the sedan's trunk.
The driver of the car with the migrants has been arrested.
Police said he is a 25-year-old Moldovan trafficker who was taking migrants toward Thessaloniki, 22 kilometers (14 miles) to the west.
When asked by the AP whether the trafficker's car was being pursued, a police spokesman said that wasn't the case.
But other police officials said the car might have been monitored by authorities in an unmarked vehicle.
All spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.