Unrest in Lampedusa: Italian Police Clash with Overcrowded Migrants

Migrants clashed with police at an overcrowded holding center on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa Wednesday.

About 1,300 migrants clashed with police Wednesday on the Italian island of Lampedusa one day after igniting their overcrowded holding center on fire to protest Italy’s policy of forced repatriations.

Lampedusa is closer to Africa than the Italian mainland. Migrants have fled unrest in Tunisia and Libya.

About 26,000 Tunisians and 28,000 people from multiple nationalities in exodus from Libya have arrived in Lampedusa since the beginning of Arab Spring.

Since the early 2000’s, the Lampedusa has become a primary European entry point for immigrants from Africa. Lampedusa, which has an area of 7.8 square miles, has a population of approximately 4,500 people with main industries of fishing, agriculture and tourism.