Greece Sends Extra Boats to Lesbos After Refugees Clash With Riot Police

Greece and the U.N. refugee agency are sending extra ships and additional staff to the island of Lesbos, after fresh clashes between refugees and riot police erupted overnight on Monday.

The BBC reports that a processing centre has been set up to assist some 25,000 stranded refugees make the journey to Athens from the island.

Some 2,500 refugees clashed with around a dozen coastguards and riot police armed with batons on Monday night as they tried to board an Athens-bound ship, AFP reported. Greek immigration minister Yiannis Mouzalas told Greek radio station To Vima that the island is "on the verge of explosion" after being overwhelmed with mainly-Syrian refugees.

The island has a population of just 85,000 inhabitants. Aid groups have previously warned of the dire conditions facing refugees in makeshift camps of Lesbos. The camp of Kara Tepe, just outside the island's capital of Mytilini, reportedly has just five semi-functioning toilets used by 2,000 migrants.