Europe

Greece migrant protest wrecks EU Lesbos offices

Gutted temporary EU offices, Lesbos, 24 Oct 16 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Temporary EU offices were gutted in the arson attack by migrants

Migrants at an overcrowded camp on the Greek island of Lesbos have set fire to temporary EU offices.

No injuries were reported in the attack and the blaze was quickly doused.

The protesters - about 70 migrants mostly of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin - were angry about the time taken to process asylum claims at the Moria camp, officials said.

More than 15,000 asylum seekers are still living in camps on Greek islands, nearly 6,000 of them on Lesbos.

Jose Carreira, executive director of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), told AFP news agency at least four shipping containers, where interviews were conducted, had been entirely destroyed.

In neighbouring Bulgaria - which is also dealing with thousands of stranded migrants - there was unrest at a refugee centre near the town of Harmanli. About 300 Afghans and Syrians demonstrated about being held against their will, and the poor conditions in the camp.

There has been a dramatic fall in the numbers of migrants making hazardous boat journeys across the Aegean from Turkey to the Greek islands since March, when the EU signed a deal with Turkey to curb the influx.

A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.

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