A man threw three petrol bombs at an arrival center for asylum seekers in Dover, UK, on Sunday. A heated political debate is raging in Britain over the high number of asylum seekers crossing the English Channel from France in boats from France, reaching nearly 1,000 on Saturday.
A Reuters photographer present at the arrival center in Dover saw a man driving past the complex in a car and throwing three small bowls of water outside. Then a fire broke out in and around the center. After that, the man was going to drive to a nearby gas station and kill himself there, the latter has not been officially confirmed.
Police said one person was slightly injured in the attack on the shelter. The fire brigade put out the fire. The motive behind the attacker is not yet known.
What is clear is that the attack comes at a time when the refuge at Dover, on the British English Channel coast, has been the subject of much political debate in Britain. The government wants to take action against the growing number of migrants crossing the Channel in inflatable boats from France. Last Saturday, nearly 1,000 people came to the English coast in this way, the highest number in two months. They are then taken, among other places, to the Dover Center for identification.
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Right-wing politicians want the new British Prime Minister Sunak’s government to crack down on immigrants. Aid organizations claim their treatment in Britain is inhumane. 40,000 migrants have already crossed the channel this year, about half of them from three countries: Albania, Afghanistan and Iran.
Claire Mosley, aid worker with Care4Calais (named after the French town where many immigrants reside before going to England), tells the British newspaper. Watchman She fears the politicians’ anti-immigration rhetoric may have contributed to the attack. “We are seeing more and more hate on social media and threats from our volunteers. Government ministers call them illegal immigrants, ignoring evidence that they are real refugees who need help.”
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