Clashes break out in Lesbos as locals battle with police while to stop work on new migrant camps 

Residents have fought riot police with wooden sticks and set up flaming barricades on the roads in an attempt to halt the construction of new migrant detention centres on two Greek islands.

At least 500 people on Lesbos and Chios – including regional governor Kostas Moutzouris and West Lesbos mayor Taxiarchis Verros – clashed with riot police last night and into this morning. On Lesbos locals attempted to stop authorities unloading excavation machines from ferries which will be used to construct refugee camps.

Riot police marched in formation and used tear gas and flash grenades on residents. At least three people on Chios, including the mayor and a priest, were rushed to hospital last night after suffering breathing difficulties due to the toxic fumes.

Horrified at the treatment of residents, labour unions on Lesbos called for an island-wide strike today. Further protests are expected in the coming hours.

The islands are at the centre of the Greek migrant crisis, as a first stop for many migrants travelling to Europe from Asia and the Middle East. Residents have called for detention centres to be built on the mainland, but the newly-elected Greek government has promised to build them on the islands.  

Residents fought riot police on Chios and Lesbos last night as they tried to halt construction of a migrant camp. A resident is pictured above hitting a police officer with a wooden stick

Locals pictured fighting Greek riot police near the village of Karava, Lesbos, early this morning. Regional governor Kostas Moutzouris and West Lesbos mayor Taxiarchis Verros joined the protesters

Locals pictured fighting Greek riot police near the village of Karava, Lesbos, early this morning. Regional governor Kostas Moutzouris and West Lesbos mayor Taxiarchis Verros joined the protesters

At least one protester was injured. Three others - including the mayor and a priest - were hospitalised in Chios with breathing problems after police used tear gas to disperse demonstrations

At least one protester was injured. Three others – including the mayor and a priest – were hospitalised in Chios with breathing problems after police used tear gas to disperse demonstrations

At least 500 protesters descended on the port in Lesbos last night in an attempt to stop authorities offloading excavation machines which will be used to build the new camp

At least 500 protesters descended on the port in Lesbos last night in an attempt to stop authorities offloading excavation machines which will be used to build the new camp

Flaming barricades were also erected on roads to impede the police convoy's progress. Pictured near Karava, Lesbos

Flaming barricades were also erected on roads to impede the police convoy’s progress. Pictured near Karava, Lesbos 

Riot police strike protesters with batons as they disperse a rally in Diavolorema, on Lesbos, this morning. Demonstrators want camps built on the mainland but the Greek government has promised to build them on the islands

Riot police strike protesters with batons as they disperse a rally in Diavolorema, on Lesbos, this morning. Demonstrators want camps built on the mainland but the Greek government has promised to build them on the islands

Footage shows Greek riot police firing tear gas at protesters as they march along the island’s roads with excavation equipment this morning. They are also shown marching past burning barricades.

In one clip an old man is shown facing down the police and arguing with them, before they turn backwards.

Next Page