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Migrants scuffle with police on Lampedusa island

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Migrants scuffle with police on Lampedusa island


Migrants have scuffled with police at an overcrowded holding centre on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa.

Some of the migrants, who are mostly Tunisians, were forced to jump from a balcony as riot officers beat them back with batons.

Tensions mounted following rumours the migrants were soon to be repatriated.

Lampedusa, off the southern coast of Sicily, has long been a gathering point for African migrants trying to reach Europe.

It has been overwhelmed this year by Tunisians fleeing unrest at home.

In all, some 25,000 have arrived on the island, thousands of others have turned up on boats from Libya.

Wednesday’s scuffles at the holding centre came a day after Tunisian migrants set mattresses on fire, as they sought to avoid being sent back home.

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