Five people shot in clashes between migrants in Calais

Five people shot in clashes between migrants in Calais

Five people shot in clashes between migrants in Calais

On Friday, Mr Collomb insisted: "The message I want to get across is that if you want to go to Britain, it's not here you should come".

The fighting broke out near the site of a vast Calais migrant camp that closed in 2016.

Another two migrants suffered less serious gunshot wounds and 12 others had other injuries, the local prefecture said, adding the numbers could change.

The notorious Calais "Jungle", once home to about 10,000 people, was demolished in 2016, but hundreds more migrants have since descended on the city.

How did the violence unfold?

According to reports, several fights erupted yesterday evening (Thursday February 1) between Afghan and African migrants escalated in the camp, with hundreds of migrants involved, and weapons such as guns seen to be used.

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Authorities said there were two fights, one of which is thought to have lasted for around two hours. Four remain in critical situation.

An Afghan migrant is believed to have fired shots, culminating an epic brawl between the Afghan and predominately Eritrean migrants who had gathered for the meals handed out by aid groups, according to French media accounts.

Police reinforcements have been sent to the French port city amid warnings of growing tensions in the area.

At least a dozen others were injured during the almost two-hour clashes, with about 22 people being hospitalized.

France's interior minister Gerard Collomb said he was on the way to the port town to deal with the emergency.

Why are the migrants there?

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Many migrants travel to Calais with hopes of finding a better life and crossing the channel over to Britain.

Charities on the ground have said the incidents left unaccompanied minors as young as 13 with "nowhere to go" because the scrubland they had been sleeping on became too risky following the conflict.

The migrants have the option of going to reception centers where they can apply for asylum in Calais or elsewhere around the country.

During a visit to Calais last month, French president Emmanuel Macon said Calais would no longer be "a secret gateway to England" for thousands of illegal migrants. Police are seeking a shooting suspect but have made no arrests, the Associated Press reported.

He is expected to unveil a new migrant policy next month, which will include speeding up the application process for asylum seekers and faster removal of those who fail to be accepted. But prominent critics - including some of Macron's own political allies - have accused the young president of presiding over police brutality and a policy of exclusion.

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