All refugees cleared from Australia camp in PNG: Police
Sydney: Papua New Guinea police have emptied a shuttered Australian detention camp where hundreds of refugees were holed up in, police said on Friday, ending a three- week-old standoff.
The police operation, which started on Thursday and saw 50 men removed from the closed, Australia-run centre, resumed this morning with a fresh push to take the remaining 320 detainees to new, PNG-run transit centres.
"Between 9 and 10 am (2300-0000 GMT) this morning, they had all been moved," PNG police spokesman Chief Superintendent Dominic Kakas told AFP, adding that the men were moved to two of the three transition facilities.
"It's empty. The military have taken back their base," he added of the Manus camp, which is located on a PNG naval base.
Video and photos posted by the refugees on social media showed uniformed police swinging and poking long metal poles at detainees and dragging them from their roo towards buses bound for the transition centres elsewhere on Manus.
Police, engaged in an operation they dubbed "Helpim Friends", had vowed not to use force against the refugees, who have been refusing to leave the camp since Australia declared it closed on October 31.