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GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations refugee agency called for calm on Thursday after receiving reports of force being used to remove refugees and asylum-seekers from a centre closed three weeks ago on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

About fifty asylum seekers departed an Australian-run detention camp in Papua New Guinea on Thursday after police moved into the complex, confiscating food, water and personal belongings from the roughly 310 who remained.

“We urge both governments to engage in constructive dialogue, to de-escalate the tensions and work on urgent lasting solutions to their plight," the U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement. It could not confirm that force had been used as it had not been granted full access to the shuttered facility.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Tom Miles)

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Reuters