Police, Migrants Clash in EU


Clashes between police and migrants broke out as demolition teams dismantled huts in part of a migrant camp known as the Jungle in the French port of Calais.

Police fired teargas at migrants and set their shelters on fire. At least 12 shacks were set ablaze, according to the  BBC.

Reuters said police fired tear gas at about 150 people and activists who threw stones.

Of the 3500 people living in the camp, the homes of approximately 200 people have been demolished, according to British refugee aid group.

“The migrants are just going to run and hide in the woods and the police are going to have to go after them,” said activist Francois Guennoc of the Auberge des Migrants migrant support group.

While some residents have moved into shipping container shelters and a small number have left on state-provided coaches to centres elsewhere in France, more than the official estimate of 800 to 1,000 people remained inside the main camp, according to The Guardian.

Migrants from the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa inhabited the camp.

The government is trying to encourage people to relocate to official accommodation provided inside converted shipping containers nearby. But most have refused the offer fearing they’ll be forced to claim asylum in France.

The migrants do not want to give up their hopes of Britain, which they try to reach daily by sneaking aboard lorries and ferries crossing the channel.

Moving people from the camp will disperse many people around Calais, the volunteers warn.

Regional prefect Fabienne Buccio had said the police presence was needed because “extremists” could try to intimidate migrants into turning down housing offers or buses to reception centers.

Earlier on Monday at another European migrant crisis flashpoint, Macedonian police also fired tear gas to disperse hundreds who stormed the border from Greece. The migrants had torn down a gate as frustrations boiled over at restrictions imposed on people moving through the Balkans.

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