Greek police use batons and fire extinguishers on migrants

Violence breaks out stadium where hundreds were waiting for immigration papers

Policemen  try to disperse hundreds of migrants by spraying them with fire extinguishers during a gathering for a registration procedure at the stadium on  Kos. Photograph: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images

Policemen try to disperse hundreds of migrants by spraying them with fire extinguishers during a gathering for a registration procedure at the stadium on Kos. Photograph: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images

 

Greek police used batons and fire extinguishers against migrants on the island of Kos on Tuesday after violence broke out in a stadium where hundreds of people, including children, were waiting for immigration papers.

The scuffles took place a day after a Kos police officer was suspended for brandishing a knife and slapping a man identified by Greek media as a Pakistani migrant.

Greece has struggled to cope with a surge in migrants and refugees arriving on its shores. TV images on Tuesday showed hundreds of migrants jostling with one another as they ran from huge clouds of thick white powder set off from fire extinguishers wielded by police officers trying to disperse the crowd.

Once calm had returned, police ushered yet more migrants into the stadium, packing the stands, a witness said. Some migrants set up tents while police stood guard in riot gear.

Kos mayor Yorgos Kyritsis earlier said strained local services, including the police and coast guard, were unable to cope with the influx.

“This situation on the island is out of control,” he told Greek TV. “There is a real danger of uncontrollable situations. Blood will be shed.” – (Reuters)