World

Greek authorities race to ease number of trapped refugees on island of Kos

Greek police registration officers working around the clock have greatly reduced the numbers of Syrian refugees stuck in miserable conditions on the holiday island of Kos, where hundreds arrive daily in packed boats from Turkey.

Temporary travel papers issued to 1,000 men, women and children

A Syrian refugee child pauses moments after arriving at a beach on the Greek island of Kos after crossing a part of the Aegean sea from Turkey to Greece on a dinghy on Thursday. About 124,000 people have arrived this year by sea, many via Turkey, according to Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR director for Europe. (Yannis Behrakis/Reuters)

Greek police registration officers working around the clock have greatly reduced the numbers of Syrian refugees stuck in miserable conditions on the holiday island of Kos, where hundreds arrive daily in packed boats from Turkey.

A rudimentary processing centre set up in a stadium on Kos was largely empty Thursday morning after police issued temporary travel papers to at least 1,000 men, women and children.

But large numbers of refugees remain camped outside the stadium waiting to register. The influx has overwhelmed local authorities.

More than 200 people, mainly Syrian Kurds from the war-devastated town of Kobani, arrived early Thursday, in at least six rubber boats. Another group of refugees was picked up at sea by a coast guard launch.

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