UK & World News

  • 5 August 2014, 14:04

Fighting Between Migrants Wanting To Get To UK

More than 50 migrants have been injured during large scale fighting in the French port of Calais, the town's Deputy Mayor has told Sky News.

Dozens of extra police officers have been drafted in to the town to cope with the outbreaks of violence between rival groups of migrants trying to make it to the UK.

Local charities say the migrants are becoming increasingly desperate in the midst of a crackdown by the French authorities.

The deputy mayor of Calais, Philippe Mignonet, told Sky News more than 50 migrants had been injured in the fighting, involving rival groups of migrants. 

On Monday, a fight between rival Eritrean and Sudanese migrants left 16 people injured.

The migrant problem in Calais is the worst it has been since police cleared a notorious squat housing hundreds of illegals in 2009.

Human rights groups estimate more than 1,000 migrants have now converged on Calais, many paying gang masters close to £1,000 each in the hope of being smuggled on lorries to Britain.

Most are camped near a disused factory on the outskirts of Calais.

French magistrates gave the migrants until this week to move on, or face forcible eviction.

French CRS riot police have arrived in force in Calais but there has been no move so far to evict the migrants.

The Mayor of Calais, Natasha Bouchart, said the situation for migrants was intolerable, with widespread outbreaks of disease including scabies.

She wants the authorities to establish a proper migrant camp where those travelling to Calais can receive proper medical attention and reside in sanitary conditions.

The last official camp at Sangatte near Calais closed in 2009 because of UK government concerns hundreds of illegal immigrants were using the facility as a base for attempting to gain illegal entry to Britain.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will set out his stance on immigration later, calling for tighter border controls and the reintroduction of exit checks.

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