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7 men flown to prison after riot causes $7 million damage to remote Australian detention camp


CANBERRA, Australia — Seven men blamed for a riot that caused 10 million Australian dollars ($7 million) damage to a remote Australian immigration detention camp had been flown to a mainland prison, an official said Thursday.

A standoff between protesting detainees and officials at the Christmas Island detention camp in the Indian Ocean ended Tuesday after police used tear gas to stop more than a day of unrest that prompted guards to flee the facility and left parts of the compound badly damaged.

There were no serious injuries

The men — five New Zealanders, a Tongan and an Afghan — were flown overnight in a chartered jet 2,600 kilometers (1,600 miles) to a maximum security prison in the west coast city of Perth, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told Sydney Radio 2GB.

More would follow as the government was determined to bring the perpetrators of the damage to justice, he said.

The detention camp was built to house asylum seekers who came to Australia by boat from Indonesia, which is 500 kilometers (300 miles) to the north.

But asylum seekers were now outnumbered by criminals, including killers, armed robbers and pedophiles, Dutton said.

Of the 199 detainees on Christmas Island, 113 were foreigners who had been released from Australian prisons and were fighting Australian efforts to deport them.

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