Wind Stops Move of Tunisians to Italian Mainland

ROME -- Tunisians who fled their homeland are growing frustrated on a tiny Italian island because strong winds are preventing ferries from transferring them to the mainland.

Some 3,500 Tunisians have been waiting on Lampedusa since Thursday for ferry transfers to holding centers on the Italian peninsula to resume. Hundreds of Tunisians already transferred to the centers simply hopped fences to run away in hopes of reaching France.

Border police Maj. Fabrizio Pisanelli says transfers will resume as soon as winds calm down, possibly by late afternoon.

Pisanelli says a smoky fire broke out Saturday on Lampedusa's dock, and a young Tunisian man was detained by police after fellow migrants told authorities he had set the blaze. No one was injured.