About 1,500 migrants started a riot in Bulgaria’s largest refugee camp on Thursday amid growing tensions in displaced persons reception centers across the Balkans, officials said.

 

The migrants set car tires on fire and threw stones at some 250 police, firefighters and gendarmerie at the Harmanli reception center close to the Turkish border, local police spokeswoman Nina Nikolova told AFP.

 

She said the protest erupted over “a recently imposed ban on migrants leaving the premises of the center”.

 

“The situation has been brought under control at the moment. Negotiations are under way between the protesting migrants and the state refugee agency,” Nikolova added.

 

The center, which houses well over 3,000 migrants, was the scene of another protest in October when several hundred Afghans demanded they be allowed to continue their journey towards western Europe.