Migrants at the Bari port | Photo: ANSA/ISABELLA MASELLI
Migrants at the Bari port | Photo: ANSA/ISABELLA MASELLI

A number of fires were set by migrants in the Bari-Palese repatriation center in the southeastern region of Apulia in Italy on Saturday night. At least three housing units were damaged and three people tried to flee.

The migrants set fire to mattresses in the lodgings of the Bari-Palese repatriation center in southeastern Italy on Saturday. 

The first fire in one of the units was put out using extinguishers. Putting out the second fire, a bigger one, required firefighters. Immediately afterwards the migrants tried to set a third fire, after which some of them took refuge on the roofs of the housing units. 

The flames damaged mattresses and the furniture of three housing units.

Three migrants hosted in the center tried to escape by jumping off the roofs of some of the housing units during the fires and suffered minor injuries. Two of them were sent to a hospital emergency room, while the third sustained only bruises. It is not clear whether the fires were set to distract from their escape attempt or whether the three migrants decided to escape only after the fire started. 

Similar incident in December 

This was not the first time that people set fires in the Bari repatriation center. In December, a similar incident occurred while repatriation operations were underway for five Nigerian nationals. During the preparation for the repatriation, others staying in the center had set fire to the furniture inside two housing units in an attempt to oppose the repatriation.  Security forces were subjected to attacks and had objects thrown at them. Three Carabinieri and two police suffered minor injuries.  

In Italy, migrants and rejected asylum seekers who are about to be deported are sent to repatriation centers, where they are held until they are deported. 


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