Watch: Migrants Riot and Set Fires to Holding Centre in Malta

Migrants, part of a group of 356 rescued by the Norwegian-flagged Ocean Viking rescue ship, run by charities MSF and SOS Mediterranee, sit in a boat as they are transferred to a Maltese navy boat after being stranded for two weeks at sea, on August 23, 2019. - Six EU …
ANNE CHAON/AFP/Getty Images

Police arrested some 107 migrants for their role in the riots that overran a migrant holding centre on the island nation of Malta.

A group of migrants set fire to five cars and a number of rooms in the Hal Far open centre, reports Malta Today. The five cars that were set ablaze belonged to employees of the centre, one of which was a police car.

According to a report from the Times of Malta, the riot began when a Nigerian man had been refused re-entry into the centre because he was drunk, a violation of the Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers (AWAS) rules. An argument between the man and the police broke out, and when officers tried to arrest him, other migrants joined in and began fighting with the police.

The riot ended when riot police entered the compound in the early hours of Monday morning. Before being subdued, the rioters threw objects at the police, injuring at least one officer. Reports estimate that more than 300 people took part in the riots.

Some of the residents of the holding centre were ordered to take their belongings and leave the compound, a former British Army barracks. It is currently unknown when the migrants will be permitted to return to the camp.

At least 75 of the migrants were arrested and taken to the General Police Headquarters to be questioned.

Many of the several hundred migrants were brought to Malta after an agreement was made between Germany, France, Italy, and Malta on the distribution of migrants who crossed the Mediterranean Sea.

The riot in Malta comes days after migrants set a similar camp ablaze on the Greek island of Samos.

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