Police say they arrested eight trespassers at Pournara migrant camp on Tuesday night, with some of them reportedly holding edged weapons and blunt instruments.
According to local media, eight foreign nationals entered the premises of the migration facility in Kokkinotrimithia, Nicosia district, without authorization.
Police told Knews that Pournara officers spotted an adult male Tuesday night around 10:15pm, who was inside the fenced area without authorization. The man, who was reportedly holding a steel rebar, attempted to flee but was caught by law enforcement agents.
Seven other males were later spotted inside the camp, with at least two of them holding blunt objects, such as a metal rod and a hand tool possibly a hammer. All eight men were arrested on charges of illegal trespassing and possession of blunt objects.
Some media reported police officers were responding to an incident within the camp while police did not want to speculate as to why the men visited the migrant facility
Some local media reported that police officers were responding to an incident within the camp while police told Knews they did not want to speculate as to why the men visited the migrant facility.
A press officer further clarified there was no report of an incident on camp grounds except the events involving the suspects, saying it was standard procedure for agents to call for back up.
Police said prosecutors were prepared to file a criminal case with Nicosia district court on Wednesday.
The suspects were described as foreign nationals from the same country of origin who remained lawfully in the Republic of Cyprus.
Recent reports said officials at Pournara were scrambling to find more space to host asylum seekers, after it emerged that more than half of detainees at the Nicosia facility are under quarantine due to coronavirus measures.
Cyprus has been criticized for detaining asylum seekers in overcrowded camps, while the government has defended its policy saying applicants ought not to remain in closed spaces until their cases are adjudicated or if they decide to leave the county.