CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A protest at an Australian-run immigration detention camp in Nauru turned violent Friday with several asylum seekers and guards injured, officials said.
Around 150 asylum seekers were involved in the unrest on the tiny Pacific atoll country, Australia’s Immigration Department said in a statement.
An undisclosed number of asylum seekers and guards received medical treatment for injuries, the department said. Nauru police were involved.
The department said there had been property damage, but provided no details.
Australia is holding 545 asylum seekers on Nauru while their refugee claims are assessed. They had attempted to seek asylum in Australia.
Australia is attempting to deter asylum seekers from paying people smugglers to bring them in rickety fishing boats to its shores by sending them to remote camps at Nauru, Papua New Guinea and the Australian territory of Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.
Christmas Island has been the scene of several violent and destructive protests by asylum seekers who want to be taken to the Australian mainland.
The department said the unrest was unrelated to an Australian government announcement Friday that future asylum seekers who attempt to arrive by boat will never be allowed to settle in Australia.