Al Jazeera reports that Bulgaria is going to deport 1000 refugees. This move comes after a high number of them have begun to violently protest and clash with the police. The reason for the protest was the movement restriction imposed by authorities, due to health-related fears.

The refugees were very violent

The clash erupted on Thursday in a reception center near the town of Harmanli, which is close to the Turkish border. The refugees (many of which come from Afghanistan) had begun to riot after hearing that they were to be held temporarily in the area due to health concerns, as the media reported that some of them may be carrying contagious skin diseases.

The protest was violent enough that police forces were required to calm the spirits. Protesters threw rocks at law enforcement, and some of them even did minor damage to several buildings. Some of them also set fire to broken furniture and mattresses. In order to put an end to the protest, police used rubber bullets and water cannons. 20 refugees and 29 police officers were injured during the confrontation. More that 400 refugees were arrested.

The Bulgarian authorities reacted quickly and harshly to these violent protests. The Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Boyko Borisov, has said he will take drastic measures against those that were involved in the riots, many of which were young men. Borisov had to cancel a visit to Hungary because of the unexpected riots.

One thousand refugees will be temporarily moved to empty army barracks, and afterward, they will be sent to their country of origin, some time in December. Families from Syria, however, will continue to remain at the reception center.

The violence provoked unrest in the country

The Prime Minister has also urged the Bulgarian citizens in the town of Harmanli to remain calm, and to not provoke the refugees any further, which will help the authorities in their efforts to control the situation.

Meanwhile, nationalist parties used social media to present these events as a failure of the current government to successfully control the migrant influx. Despite the fact that Bulgaria has built a fence and is taking in fewer refugees compared to last year, there have been several protests staged by nationalists, who want all refugee centers in the country closed.