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Thousands Flee Blaze at Greek Refugee Camp

  • VOA News

Refugees and migrants stand at the closed gate of the Moria migrant camp, after a fire at the facility, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, Sept. 19, 2016.

Refugees and migrants stand at the closed gate of the Moria migrant camp, after a fire at the facility, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, Sept. 19, 2016.

Thousands of people have been forced to flee after a fire broke out at a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos.

Volunteers at the Moria refugee camp said around 4,000 people were evacuated from the fire. There were no reports of injuries.

Fire officials are investigating the cause of the Monday night blaze and are still assessing the extent of damage caused.

A total 5,400 migrants and other refugees live on Lesbos, which was the main destination for the more than 1 million people who reached Greece's eastern islands from Turkey since the beginning of 2015.

Greece is struggling to reduce overcrowding at migrant camps on its islands, even though the flow of people is less than last year, and the slow processing of asylum requests is adding to frustrations that sometimes spark violence among residents.

Including those on the islands, there are 60,000 migrants stranded in Greece. Most of them have made risky journeys across the Mediterranean Sea to escape war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.

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