Written by Staff Writer
01 Mar, 2016 | 6:26 am
Clashes broke out as demolition teams dismantled huts in part of a migrant camp known as the Jungle in the French port of Calais.
Riot police fired tear gas after migrants began throwing boulders inside the camp. At least twelve shacks were set ablaze, reports say.
The demolition teams appeared to leave inhabited huts intact as they move through the camp’s southern sector.
The government plans to relocate migrants to reception centres. Those living in the camp, mainly from the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa, hope to cross the Channel, often using people traffickers to try to enter illegally.
Hidden by the cover of darkness, groups of migrants tried to access trucks on the motorway heading towards the port of Calais. Riot police fired tear gas, forcing them back.
On Monday the demolition squads moved through the Jungle. They were met by some resistance. A few migrants and protesters threw rocks in an effort to delay their eviction.
Little remains of the sprawling southern section of the settlement now.
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.
It is still unclear where the hundreds who have been evicted will go now.
The authorities believe some 1,000 migrants will be affected by the eviction plan while aid agencies say the number of people living there is much higher.
Earlier Good Chance, a theatre group which works in the camp, said police were preventing volunteers from entering the camp.
Conditions in the southern sector are squalid and the camp’s sprawling presence has become a controversial issue in both France and the UK.
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