5 former residents arrested over Moria refugee camp fire

(Update: adds details of arrests)

By Ingrid Haack

Athens, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- Five former residents of Moria refugee camp have been arrested in connection with a fire there last week, Greek authorities said Tuesday.

The individuals were detained on suspicion of deliberately starting the fire that devastated the camp on the island of Lesbos on Wednesday.

Greece’s citizen protection minister Michalis Chrisochoidis said a sixth person is also being sought in connection with the incident.

Greek authorities said flames erupted simultaneously at three points in the site which led them to believe it was arson.

The fire broke out shortly after 35 people who had tested positive for Covid-19 were told they would be put into isolation, triggering protests among residents.

Humanitarian organizations had been warning for months of appalling sanitary conditions at the camp, which was at more than four times its official capacity.

Greek authorities have struggled to convince those left homeless by the blaze to move to temporary accommodation.

The government has launched an information campaign to persuade the nearly 12,000 people camped on roads on the island to move to the new camp.

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