Inmates have lit fires at Australia’s Christmas Island detention centre in a “major disturbance” that is yet to be resolved, say government officials, the BBC reports.
The immigration department confirmed in a statement that guards had been withdrawn for “safety reasons”.
Medical, educational and sporting facilities have been damaged.
The statement denied a “large-scale riot” was taking place but said the situation at the centre for refugees and asylum seekers was “tense.”
The Christmas Island centre also houses New Zealanders facing deportation from Australia.