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Asylum seeker dies in Papua New Guinea camp

One person killed and 77 injured during further unrest at Australian detention centre on Papua New Guinea island.

Last updated: 18 Feb 2014 11:50
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An asylum seeker was killed and scores were injured when a violent protest ended with a breakout from an immigration detention camp run by Australia on the South Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea, an official said.

The asylum seeker died from head injuries as he was taken by ambulance to the hospital, Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday. It was not clear what his nationality was, or how he had sustained the injuries, AP news agency reported.

Two other seriously injured asylum seekers, one with a gunshot wound and the other with a fractured skull, would be flown to Australia for medical treatment, Morrison added. It was the second bout of unrest at the facility. On Sunday, a number of asylum seekers were injured and some were arrested following an escape attempt by 35 people.

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Thomas, reporting from Sydney, said the Australian government would continue its policy of sending asylum seekers to the detention camp in Papua New Guinea. "Their tough policy continues despite this riot," our correspondent said.

In recent years, thousands of people seeking asylum in Australia have attempted to reach the country by boat, mostly from Indonesia. The government has intercepted them at sea and sent them to detention camps at Manus Island, part of Papua New Guinea, or the tiny Pacific atoll nation of Nauru.

The number of security guards had been increased last week, which Morrison said had prevented the camp from being destroyed. 

"This is a tragedy, but this was a very dangerous situation where people decided to protest in a very violent way and to take themselves outside the centre and place themselves at great risk,'' Morrison told reporters.

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Al Jazeera and agencies
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