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    Asylum seekers are pictured in this handout photo provided by the refugee action coalition, taken inside the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea January 13, 2015

    Guards Storm Compound Full of Refugees at Australian Detention Center

    © REUTERS / Refugee Action Coalition/Handout via Reuters
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    Security forces stormed one of the compounds at the Manus Island detention center which had been barricaded by detainees, some of them on a hunger strike.

    Moscow, January 19 (Sputnik) — A protest on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, devolved into conflict as security guards stormed one compound full of asylum seekers on Monday.

    A heavily armed Emergency Response Team from Wilson Security stormed the Delta compound, which had been barricaded by asylum seekers who were refusing to eat or allow security guards inside, reports AAP.

    The asylum seekers are undocumented migrants who are being held at Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. They barricaded themselves inside the compound to prevent a police assault during a massive strike at the facility, Guardian Australia reported Monday.

    For seven days asylum seekers had refused to eat or drink water, protesting their resettlement in the Papua New Guinea community. Every day the men have chanted "freedom" as they refused to eat, reports Sydney Herald.

    A number of asylum seekers and one guard were injured in the standoff. Refugee advocates also claim up to 30 men were arrested by the security guards.

    Refugee advocate Sally Thompson said armed guards stormed the Delta compound where they searched out the ring leaders on Monday afternoon.

    "There are quite a lot of injuries among the asylum seekers," she said. It is understood that the injuries were mainly cuts and bruises. The armed guards were searching for people with phones," she said.

    "I believe they came in to force feed the men and give medical attention," reports Sydney Herald.

    It is unclear whether the other three compounds — Foxtrot, Mike and Oscar — have stopped their hunger strikes.

    The protesting asylum seekers were branded "irresponsible" by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, who had urged them to stop their hunger strike on Monday.

    An asylum seeker is pictured with his lips sewn together in this handout picture provided by the refugee action coalition, taken inside the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea January 13, 2015.
    © REUTERS / Refugee Action Coalition/Handout via Reuters
    Mr Dutton accused some asylum seekers of engaging in "aggressive behavior", rather than a peaceful protest.

    "A number of transferees have regrettably engaged in aggressive behavior over the weekend at the Manus Regional Processing Centre and that protest action is ongoing," he told Sydney Herald.

    But the asylum seekers are growing desperate to avoid the Australian government’s plan to resettle them in Papua New Guinea.

    "We don't need food or clothes, we need freedom," the asylum seeker said.

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    Tags:
    security, asylum, refugees, hunger-strike, migrant camp, protest, Peter Dutton, Papua New Guinea
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