Paris, 23 Jumadil Awal 1437/1 March 2016 (MINA) – The French government has started dismantling a refugee camp, nicknamed ‘Jungle’, on the outskirts of the country’s northern port city of Calais, using bulldozers.
According to reports, two bulldozers and around 20 workers on Monday began destroying makeshift shacks, with 30 police cars and two anti-riot vans stationed nearby, Press TV reported.
“We are carrying out our orders so that the refugees leave the camp and we will continue this work this morning,” said Fabienne Buccio, a top official in France’s Calais region. Press Tv reported on Tuesday.
She added that three-quarters of the shacks in the southern half of the camp had been evacuated earlier before forcing the refugees to leave.
The move reportedly led to clashes between police and the refugees, with one person arrested for trying to stop demolition crews from clearing the site.
Sources said police fired tear gas as the refugees kept pelting stones and three makeshift shelters were set ablaze.
Jungle camp, a grim shanty town in the port city of Calais, northern France, houses some 3,000 refugees and asylum seekers gathered in the hope of reaching Britain.
Britain has put substantial pressure on France to stem the flow of refugees passing through the country.
In January, Buccio announced plans to move the people to heated shipping containers elsewhere in the camp and other centers around France.
Eight associations working in the camp, including Doctors of the World, had warned that the alternative accommodation does not amount to decent temporary residence for the refugees, many of whom are fleeing the foreign-backed bloodshed in Syria and Iraq.
Around 6,000 refugees are currently living in and around Calais.
Europe is facing an unprecedented influx of refugees who are fleeing conflict-ridden zones in Africa and the Middle East, particularly Syria.
Many blame major European powers for the unprecedented exodus, saying their policies have led to a surge in terrorism and war in those regions, forcing more people to flee their homes. (T/P002/R04)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)