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French Police Begin Evacuation of “The Jungle” Refugee Camp in Calais

HeadlineOct 24, 2016

In France, hundreds of police officers have begun clearing the refugee camp in Calais known as “The Jungle” ahead of its planned demolition. The first of nearly 7,000 camp residents boarded buses Monday morning, bound for refugee centers elsewhere in France. The camp has been home to refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, Somalia and other war-torn regions who are seeking to reach England by crossing through the Channel Tunnel. Overnight on Sunday, some residents and their supporters protested, setting fire to portable toilets. Police responded with volleys of tear gas canisters. Activist François Guennoc said many fear they’ll be deported to another European country or sent home.

François Guennoc: “Maybe about half, maybe a bit less, will leave of their own accord. For the rest, they’ll leave in the buses if they are compelled to. Over 2,000 people have left in the last few weeks, and this weekend there are lots of people leaving for Paris or elsewhere.”

British authorities said they were working to resettle some of the camp’s 1,300 unaccompanied children. But many advocates for the refugees fear minors are being swept up on buses and shipped elsewhere in France.

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