The Courier-Mail

MI­GRANT CRI­SIS SWAMPS GREECE

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KOS: Over­whelmed po­lice on the Greek is­land of Kos yesterday beat Afghans and Syr­i­ans with trun­cheons and sprayed them with fire ex­tin­guish­ers as its mayor warned of a “blood­bath” if the mi­grant cri­sis were to worsen.

Amid mount­ing ten­sions across Europe over the in­crease in new ar­rivals, Ger­many’s po­lice union called for the scrap­ping of Europe’s visa-free Schen­gen travel zone, while Ital­ian po­lice said they had ar­rested al­most 900 sus­pected hu­man-traf­fick­ers since Jan­uary 2014 but said the king­pins were still at large.

In Kos, the mi­grants were be­ing re­lo­cated to a football sta­dium af­ter camp­ing along roads and beaches for weeks.

Four po­lice used trun­cheons and fire ex­tin­guish­ers seem­ingly to pre­vent a stam­pede as a crowd tried to squeeze through a door into the sta­dium.

At least one woman had fainted in the heat and many chil­dren were cry­ing as the mass of peo­ple jos­tled for space, just days af­ter the coun­try’s han­dling of mi­grants came un­der fire from the United Na­tions.

Ten­sions on the tourist is­land are high, with its mayor claim­ing there were 7000 mi­grants stranded on Kos, which has a pop­u­la­tion of 30,000 peo­ple.

Kos mayor Gior­gos Kir­it­sis said there “was a risk of blood­shed”.

Greek Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras last week said the refugee cri­sis “sur­passes” his cri­sis-hit na­tion’s re­sources and called for Euro­pean Union as­sis­tance.

The UN refugee agency’s di­vi­sion for Europe last week said 124,000 refugees had landed in Greece this year.

 ??  ?? STAM­PEDE: A woman faints dur­ing reg­is­tra­tion in Kos; and po­lice use trun­cheons and fire ex­tin­guish­ers.
STAM­PEDE: A woman faints dur­ing reg­is­tra­tion in Kos; and po­lice use trun­cheons and fire ex­tin­guish­ers.
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