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Greek authorities arrest 61 illegal Muslim migrants following violence in Thessaloniki

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‘Grateful’ migrants from Iraq, Algeria, Pakistan, and Iran.

Greek authorities arrest 61 illegal migrants following violence in Thessaloniki

By Arthur Lyons, Voice of Europe, 2 August 2019

Authorities in Greece have ramped up efforts to detain migrants living in the country without residence permits.

On Tuesday, authorities announced that 61 foreign nationals were arrested who had been living in the city of Thessaloniki illegally. The police operation was said to have occurred between 7 pm and midnight on Monday, with police detaining as many as 160 foreign nations, Ekathimerini reports.

Authorities told reporters that processes to begin deporting the migrants, who are mostly from Iraq, Algeria, Pakistan, and Iran, were already underway.

The sweep was part of a wider police crackdown which follows several violent clashes close to the main train station in Greece’s second-largest city.

Greek media has released video footage of the clashes which shows men fighting with knives and iron bars. At least four men were injured during the clashes, one of them with gunshot wounds.

Authorities say they also arrested 13 migrants at airports on the islands of Santorini and Kos. The arrests occurred after migrants with forged identification documents attempted to board planes to Central Europe and Italy.

21 additional arrests were made for similar offenses last week at smaller airports throughout the country, police confirmed.

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