Updated: 02/11/17 : 12:13:50
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World :: Refugees in Australia forced to dig for water

Asylum seekers who are refusing to leave an Australian detention centre in Papua New Guinea say they are digging into the ground to find water, two days after the camp officially closed.

About 600 men at the centre on Manus Island do not want to leave, saying they fear being attacked outside.

Meanwhile, New Zealand has reiterated its offer to accept up to 150 refugees from Australia's detention centres.

Canberra has repeatedly rejected New Zealand's offer.

Australia holds asylum seekers who arrive by boat on PNG's Manus Island, and on the Pacific island of Nauru.

Australia withdrew from the Manus Island centre on Tuesday, following a PNG court ruling that the centre was unconstitutional.

The men held at PNG - most of whom have refugee status - have now lost access to running water, electricity and working toilets, and their food supplies are dwindling.

The UN refugee agency has said some alternative accommodation is not ready.

The agency and rights groups have warned that the men have legitimate fears for their safety, and that attacks on asylum seekers have occurred in the past in PNG.

Refugees told the BBC that they had dug into the ground and set up catchments to collect rainwater, but much of it was being stored in rubbish bins.

They said that PNG immigration officials arrived outside the centre on Wednesday, and they feared being forcibly removed.

Under its controversial policy, Australia refuses to take in anyone trying to reach its territories unofficially by boat. The government says its policy prevents human trafficking and deaths at sea.