The police have detained 27 migrants over their alleged involvement in a riot which broke out at the Safi detention centre early on Friday. The police also arrested a security official who fired a shot at a migrant with a shotgun that was in his car, slightly injuring him. 

Five of these detainees were arrested after they escaped but were arrested by the police shortly after their escape.

The police said in a statement that at around 2am, the District Police, the Rapid Intervention Unit (RIU) and the Special Intervention Unit (SIU), as well as members of the Armed Forces of Malta, were called in to control a number of migrants who started damaging the Safi detention centre. They were also throwing stones in the direction of the centre’s workers. 

As police began to control the situation, some of the migrants injured seven RIU police officers, the police said. Ambulance teams were called in and two officers were taken to Mater Dei Hospital for further medical treatment. They were later certified to be suffering from serious injuries.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the five migrants, who were later apprehended, had fled, injured the police as they were trying to escape.

The police said it had also detained a security officer employed with a private company who allegedly opened fire at a migrant with a shotgun he had in his vehicle. The migrant was slightly injured in the shooting incident. 

Members of the Civil Protection Department were also called to the scene to put out the fires started by the migrants.

Investigations into this case are ongoing and a magisterial inquiry, led by Magistrate Doreen Clarke, has been appointed.

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