The Latest: Greece urges migrants to head to cleaner camps

AP Photo
The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Latest on Europe’s migration crisis (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

Greek authorities, worried about the spread of diseases in makeshift refugee camps, are urging migrants to relocate to organized camps with better living conditions.

A flyer is circulating at the Idomeni migrant camp on Greece’s border with Macedonia, saying that gastroenteritis, lice and scabies are spreading among the almost 10,400 people there. Written in four languages, including Arab and Farsi, it urges the migrants to relocate to one of several organized camps across Greece.

But the migrants and refugees who have been stranded at Idomeni ever since Austria and several Balkan countries shut down their borders to them in mid-March are reluctant to leave. On Saturday, departing migrants filled just one bus.

In addition to Idomeni, another 10,000 migrants are staying in makeshift camps in mainland Greece.

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1:25 p.m.

Pope Francis says one of the refugees he met on the Greek island of Lesbos was the Muslim widower of a Syrian Christian woman killed by extremists for refusing to renounce her faith.

Francis told the faithful in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday that “she is a martyr.”

Departing from his prepared remarks, Francis shared his experiences of the day earlier with thousands of people gathered for his blessing. He says among the 300 refugees he greeted Saturday on Lesbos was a Syrian widower with two children.

The pope said: “He is Muslim, and he told me that he married a Christian girl. They loved each other and respected each other. But unfortunately the young woman’s throat was slashed by terrorists because she didn’t want to deny Christ and abandon her faith.”

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