Eritrean migrants shot in massive Calais brawl

Eritrean migrants shot in massive Calais brawl”

According to official data, 600 migrants are still camping in the French port city, hoping to cross into Britain via the Channel Tunnel.

The prefecture of the Pas-de-Calais had said earlier that two confrontations between Afghan and Eritrean migrants culminated in the gunfire. Scuffles broke out after Afghan migrant came to receive food handouts and were confronted by a crowd of African migrants, according to a prosecutor. Over a year after the "Jungle" was dismantled, the authorities are still struggling to clear the area from migrants, who keep setting up makeshift camps and sleeping rough.

A local police spokesman said: 'The toll is eight wounded, with four seriously hurt including three with life-threatening injuries'.

"After today's serious incidents I shall be heading for Calais tonight to take stock of the situation with the prefect, the mayor and local players", Gerard Collomb tweeted.

Police tackling the riots using batons and teargas as they worked to restore order in Calais.

A second then erupted at an industrial site around 3 miles (5km) away. Security was heightened to protect the Afghans, who were in great minority during the clashes.

Calais mayor said Natacha Bouchart reacted with fury to theincidents, saying such violence "was absolutely unacceptable".

Migrants carrying sticks march in the streets of Calais northern France Thursday Feb. 1 2018
French authorities say four migrants have been shot in the northern port city of Calais in a confrontation that police tried to stop. Credit AP

Speaking to police officers on Thursday evening, French Interior Minister Gerrard Collomb described the violence as "exceptionally serious" and promised that those responsible would be punished.

When announcing a new border security agreement with Britain last month, French President Emmanuel Macron stated that "in no case will we allow another "Jungle" here".

"Everything is done so that illegal passage to the United Kingdom is not possible", said Mr Macron.

Authorities said that Afghan and Eritrean migrants had been fighting with sticks and stones after a meals were distributed before the shots were fired.

"We have to clear the area". The public can't carry on accepting this situation'.

"If (police) had not intervened yesterday, the casualties would have been even heavier", the minister said, accusing smugglers to be behind increasing violence in migrants camp.

"We received calls from young people who didn't know where to go, because the place they used to sleep was no longer accessible and were very unsafe", she said.

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