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Tensions rising in Italian migrant camps

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Tensions rising in Italian migrant camps


In Italy, boats have resumed transferring Tunisian immigrants from the small island of Lampedusa to camps on the mainland.

Strong winds had prevented boats sailing to and from the island for the past four days.

Up to 400 more migrants have arrived in Lampedusa, while around 2,000 were due to be removed to temporary camps on the peninsula on Sunday. That will still leave about 2,000 to be relocated.

Amnesty International has accused the Italians of failing to provide the migrants with adequate shelter and sanitation.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says they will all be transferred to better camps by the weekend.

Some of the 5,000 local residents on Lampedusa are running out of patience.

“If they do damage we keep quiet”, says one man. “If they start causing damage, we must defend ourselves”.

Another man said: “Let’s hope others won’t arrive. This is the problem.”

But as the migrants are being moved on, problems are cropping up at the camps they are being taken to. Police say hundreds of migrants have escaped from a centre at Manduria in southern Italy.

Berlusconi is due to visit Tunisia on Monday where he will demand that more be done to stop people leaving the country.

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