Chios camp violence of ‘serious concern,’ says UNHCR

18 November 2016
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The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday issued a statement expressing “serious concern” over recent violence at the Souda migrant reception center on the Aegean island of Chios.

According to the international agency, the center came under attack for a second time on Thursday night by assailants throwing “Molotov cocktails and heavy stones,” burning and damaging tents.

“In total, some 100 people lost their places to sleep, mainly families,” Philippe Leclerc, UNHCR’s representative in Greece, said on Friday. “They told the UNHCR team that they are scared to return and sleep in the site.”

Some reports on Thursday had suggested that separate fires on Wednesday night had been caused by refugees themselves, though this was refuted by aid workers who said the center came under attack by right-wing extremists.

Deputy Migration Minister Yiannis Balafas is expected to travel to Chios this weekend to assess the situation, as well as the reports of right-wing involvement.

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