RIYADH : An illegal migrant has died and nine others were wounded when Saudi police intervened to quell “chaos” at a detention centre in the west of the kingdom, police said Monday.
The casualties fell during a “stampede” at Al-Shumaisi detention centre, south of the holy city of Makkah, where migrants of various nationalities are held pending deportation.
Detainees “tried to cause chaos... resulting in damages to the centre,” Makkah police spokesman Commander Ati al-Qurashi told AFP. He did not elaborate on the nature of the disturbances but said that police “had to intervene” and that a migrant was killed and nine others wounded in a “stampede”.
The spokesman did not provide details on the nationalities of the casualties, the number of illegals held at the centre, or the progress made in their deportation procedures.
Police have been cracking down on illegal migrants since the expiration in early November of a seven-month amnesty during which they had to regularise their status or leave the country.
The operations have sparked deadly clashes, with two Saudis, a Sudanese and another foreigner killed, according to official figures. The Ethiopian embassy in Riyadh has said three Ethiopians were killed in clashes.
More than 307,000 illegal migrants have been expelled since the start of the campaign, according to Saudi authorities.
Nearly a million migrants from various countries took advantage of the amnesty to leave voluntarily, while another four million were able to find employers to sponsor them, a legal requirement in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.