Islanders on Kos protest against creation of refugee hotspot

5 February 2016
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Residents of Kos who object to the creation of a screening center, or hotspot, for refugees and migrants on the eastern Aegean island, clashed with police on Friday near an old military base where the venue is to be based.

Earlier in the day protesters had visited the site in Pyli, southwest of Kos Town, where authorities have started building the center.

Scuffles broke out with police when the protesters tried to stop the works and officers fired tear gas to disperse them. Two of the locals were transferred to the hospital with minor injuries while many suffered breathing problems from the gas.

Four riot police units have been on the island since Friday morning and are to remain in place until the screening center is built.

A visit by Defense Minister Panos Kamenos to Kos on Thursday sparked protests, preventing his helicopter from landing on the island’s heliport. The helicopter flew further inland and Kammenos and his retinue to disembark in the middle of a field.

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