Two officers of the Detention Service and an AFM soldier were injured in a riot involving between 500 and 600 migrants at Safi Detention centre this morning.

The riot developed at about 7 a.m. when the migrants - who are all asylum seekers whose applications for asylum have been rejected - forced their way out of the compound. The riot was however contained within the barracks and it is thought that no one managed to escape - despite reports of escapes earlier this morning.

Official sources said two fires had been started and damage was caused to a building, known as the warehouse, where more of the migrants live.

The most serious damage, however, was caused to the migrants' education centre within the barracks, where computers and a projector were destroyed.

The migrants were forced back inside the compound by army and police reinforcements, including the SAG, but no tear gas was used.

An AFM helicopter was seen flying low over the area.

By 9 a.m. the situation was under control. Policemen stood by in buses while members of the SAG, carrying riot shields, moved out of the detention compound but stayed within Safi barracks.

The injured men were taken to hospital. Their condition is not believed to be serious. Sources said they appeared to have been hit by stones hurled in their direction. One of the Detention Service officers was later seen back at Safi, with a bandaged eye.

Meanwhile at about 9.25 a.m. members of the SAG were seen going into the migrants' compound again. Sources said the ring leaders were being identified and arrested.

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