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Fire at Bosnia migrant camp injures 29

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By Reuters
An archive picture of a migrant camp in Velika Kladusa
An archive picture of a migrant camp in Velika Kladusa

Twenty-nine migrants were injured in a fire that broke out early on Saturday at a migrant camp in the northwestern Bosnian town of Velika Kladusa.

Regional police spokesman Ale Siljdedic said the injured were taken to hospitals in Velika Kladusa and neighbouring Bihac following the fire at the Miral camp, which is used as temporary accommodation for about 500 migrants.

“Fire brigades are on the site and will soon put down the fire, when the investigation into the incident could start,” he told Reuters.

Videos posted on social media showed several people jumping in panic out of the former factory's windows.

About 25,000 people from Asia and North Africa entered Bosnia from Serbia and Montenegro last year, and about 6,000 have arrived in the impoverished Balkan country this year, according to Bosnia’s security agencies.

Only around 3,500 have been accommodated in transit centres, leaving thousands sleeping rough.

Most of the migrants are concentrated in Bihac and Velika Kladusa, where authorities say resources are overstretched. They have requested that the three transit centres there be closed and residents moved elsewhere.

Ethnically-divided Bosnia has not formed a government seven months after a general election. State institutions in charge of migration and asylum issues are operating in a care-taking capacity.