Safi detention centre riot: Private security guard shot migrant who tried to escape

Riot at Safi detention centre sees 27 migrants arrested by police • Two police officers sustain serious injuries • Escaping migrant slightly injured after private security guard shooting

The situation at the Safi detention centre after the riot was brought under control (Photo: Police)
The situation at the Safi detention centre after the riot was brought under control (Photo: Police)

Police are investigating a private security guard who shot one of five migrants who escaped from the Safi detention centre during a riot on Friday.

The security guard used a shot gun that was in his car to shoot at the man, who sustained slight injuries, according to a police statement.

A home affairs spokesperson said the guards are not authorised to carry fire arms, both at the open and closed centres.   

The escaping migrants were later captured and arrested by the police. They formed part of a larger riot at the centre, which started at around 2am on Friday.

The police said that 27 migrants were being held after causing damage and injuring officers who tried to control the riot.

Police officers from the Rapid Intervention Unit, the Special Intervention Unit and soldiers, supported by the district police, were called in to control a group of migrants who were pelting detention services staff with stones.

The five who escaped attacked detention services officers with stones and metal bars.

As police moved in to quell the riot, seven officers were injured, including two who had to be taken to hospital for treatment. They were later certified as suffering from serious injuries.

Civil Protection officers were also called in to put out a fire lit by the rioters.

Police investigations are ongoing and duty magistrate Doreen Clarke is conducting an inquiry.

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