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Afghan refugee dies in clashes at Greece refugee camp

An Afghan refugee has died following clashes at a refugee camp near the Greek capital, Athens, which also saw a large demonstration in solidarity with the asylum seekers stranded in the European country. 

Police said on Thursday that the 20-year-old Afghan man was injured in clashes with dozens of other men, mainly from Afghanistan, in the camp at Hellinikon.

He was transferred to a nearby hospital but died from his wounds, said the police, adding that two other refugees were also injured in the scuffles.

Over 57,000 refugees have been stranded in Greece since European countries closed their borders and the EU and Turkey signed a deal to stop the flow of refugees into Europe via the Aegean Sea.

Some 3,000 people, mostly from Afghanistan, live in the Hellinikon camp.

Several clashes have broken out in different refugee camps across Greece as many of the refugees have been waiting for months to be processed.

In another development on Thursday, thousands of people gathered outside the Greek parliament and urged the government to change its refugee policies that they say “entrap thousands of refugees” in the country and deprive them of “the very basic rights.”

Greece and Italy are entry points into the EU for refugees fleeing conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East.

A refugee boy rests in the makeshift camp situated at the old Athens airport on June 13, 2016. ©AFP

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR)’s figures show that about 1.3 million refugees reached Europe via sea in 2015 and more than 238,000 others have reached Europe so far this year.

In March, the European Union and Turkey reached a deal to cope with the influx of refugees into Europe.

Under the deal, new arrivals on Greek islands after March 20 face deportation to Turkey unless they successfully apply for asylum in Greece.

As part of the EU-Ankara deal, Greece has since April 4 started deporting to Turkey the refugees who do not meet asylum-seeking criteria.

Officials say about 8,400 refugees are currently on Greek islands, nearly all of whom have expressed interest in applying for asylum.

Europe is facing an unprecedented influx of refugees. Many blame major European powers for the unprecedented exodus, saying their policies have led to a surge in terrorism and war in those regions, thus forcing more people to flee their homes.62169fc8-0645-4141-af00-d43daaa5fc73

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