Fire in Athens apartment injures 7

A fire broke out early Thursday in a central Athens apartment occupied by Afghan immigrants, injuring seven men, including one suffering from critical burns, police said.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear, although fire brigade officials are investigating the possibility of arson.

The seven Afghans, all men aged between 17 and 26, were being treated in a hospital for burns, according to the AP.

The fire broke out in the same apartment block where police allegedly abused more than a dozen Afghan immigrants in December 2004.

Two Athens policemen were charged with torture and assault over the alleged attacks, in which officers reportedly beat immigrants, forced them to pose naked for photographs and threatened to kill them. The case has not yet been brought to trial.

Thousands of immigrants from Asia, Africa and parts of eastern Europe enter Greece illegally every year.

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