Five migrants shot in huge Calais brawl

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A migrant receives medical assistance by rescue workers following clashes near the ferry port in Calais, northern France, 01 February 2018.Image copyright EPA
Image caption A man gets medical help from rescue workers after clashes in Calais, northern France

At least five migrants have been shot in the French port city of Calais, after a mass brawl between Afghans and Eritreans.

French news agency AFP reports that four Eritrean youths aged 16-18 are in a critical condition and have been rushed to a local hospital for surgery.

A fifth man was taken to nearby Lille due to the severity of his injuries.

At least 13 more people were wounded due to “blows from iron bars”, the local prosecutor’s office said.

France’s interior minister said he would make an urgent visit to the area.

“After today’s serious incidents I shall be heading for Calais tonight to take stock of the situation with the prefect, the mayor and local players,” Gerard Collomb tweeted.

The initial fight, which lasted almost two hours, broke out on the city’s southern outskirts where migrants had been queuing for food handouts. Around 100 Eritreans and some 30 Afghans were caught up in the violence. It started when an Afghan fired shots, AFP said.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption A group of migrants pictured with sticks during the clashes

A second melee then erupted at an industrial site around 5km (three miles) away.

“Police intervened to protect the Afghan migrants faced with 150 to 200 Eritrean migrants,” the local prefecture said.

Members of the French security forces have been sent to the area.

Though the Calais migrant camp known as the Jungle was demolished in 2016, hundreds of migrants are still living rough in the nearby woods, hoping to reach the UK.

Many of those left are young men.

Local charities put the number of such migrants living in Calais at around 800, while the authorities say there are between 550 and 600.

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Media captionThe migrants living where the Calais Jungle once stood

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