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Friday, 30 March, 2001, 07:38 GMT 08:38 UK
Australian police end latest immigrant riot

Australian police in riot gear have put down a violent protest in one of the country's main detention centres for illegal immigrants.

The protest broke out over plans to deport three Iranian men being held at Port Hedland, in the west of the country.

The detention centre houses thousands of people from the Middle East intercepted trying to enter Australia illegally.

A spokesman for the Iranians said they feared being killed if they were returned to their country.

It's estimated that up to ten thousand men, women and children - mostly from the Middle East - have tried to jump the normal migration queues by paying thousands of dollars to smugglers to get them to Australia in small boats.

The smugglers face up to twenty years in prison; most of their human cargoes are detained for a year or more, before being deported.

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