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Shortage of accommodation Asylum seekers to be put up in army tents

Some asylum seekers in Switzerland, like those pictured here in 2013, are getting help from the Swiss army because of overcrowding

(Keystone)

The Swiss army is coming to the aid of a canton struggling to accommodate asylum seekers by pitching tents for them to temporarily live in.

At the request of canton Aargauexternal link, the military has for the first time begun setting up large tent shelters for asylum seekers in several towns.

The tents are intended to create space enough for about 140 asylum seekers, according to cantonal officials.

But it is only meant to provide a temporary solution, for no longer than 110 days. After that the tents must be returned to the armory.

The tents, with electricity for lighting, are being put up near refugee centers that are overcrowded.

They are to be used both by asylum seekers and caregivers. One of them can accommodate more than 1’800 people. Additional facilities for kitchens, toilets and showers are being built.

Almost 12,000 people asked for asylum in Switzerland during the first half of 2015, an increase of 16% over the same period from last year, according to the justice ministry's migration secretariatexternal link. But that is still far less than the highest figure of 47,500 asylum requests during the war in Kosovo in 1999.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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