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Migrants clash in France as camp tensions soar


PARIS (AP) - Migrants flowing into Europe in unprecedented numbers are causing a tense summer in France, as clashes break out among asylum-seekers in overcrowded camps and police fire tear gas to quell the chaos.

Sudanese and Eritreans battled in the sweltering heat in France's port city of Calais, frustrations rising as the Africans jockey for space while trying to sneak into Britain - the dream destination some 30 kilometers (20 miles) away.

British police were on site in Calais trying to make sure they don't cross over. Their French counterparts fired tear gas Tuesday to break up the latest of three battles that left 51 injured, one seriously, the Calais prefecture said.

Migrants fleeing poverty and war in Africa and the Middle East arrive in Calais with hopes of crossing the channel on a ferry or on trucks laden with cargo. Their numbers in the city at the edge of the English Channel have swelled to up to 1,300, overwhelming the city, aid agencies and police.

Up to 40 extra riot police were brought into Calais to start duty Tuesday night, bringing the number of police officers to 600, the city said.

"There are migrants who arrive each day and each day some who succeed in getting to Britain," said Deputy Mayor Philippe Mignonet, in charge of security. He refused to say how many migrants outsmart the scanners, CO2 detectors and other technology used on trucks and planted through the Channel Tunnel.

"Calais has been taken hostage," Mignonet said, blaming in part a Franco-British cooperation accord that he says puts the brunt of the burden on Calais. Like other officials, the deputy mayor complains that the British police presence effectively extends Britain's border to France.

Most migrants in Calais start the European portion of their treacherous Mediterranean journeys in Italy, arriving on boats in the island of Lampedusa. Last year, total arrivals in Italy tallied 42,000 - which was already surpassed by spring. With the year far from over, over 60,000 migrants have arrived on Italian shores.

Overwhelmed, Italy is increasingly waiving European rules to fingerprint migrants, allowing them to move on. Those looking to go to Britain often end up in Calais.

Britain is seen by many migrants as Europe's Shangri-La, with a more humane treatment of migrants than continental neighbors like France, where there are only 22,000 living units for some 60,000 asylum seekers.

Clashes among migrants are a new phenomenon.

Those Monday night and twice Tuesday were a culmination of a months-long tug-of-war between Calais and migrants. The city bulldozed makeshift camps in May. The migrants then occupied a food distribution center but were expelled. Now, authorities threaten to expel hundreds in two abandoned factories. Under pressure, the migrants turn on one another.

"There are lots of people, so there is lots more tension," said Noemie Bourdet of aid group Secours Catholique in Calais.

Migrants often are forced to pay small-time smugglers for a place in line in a parking lot where trucks leave for Britain. The clashes may have been over a place at a parking lot that didn't have smugglers demanding payments, according to Bourdet.

Within France, there is a divergence of views about how well Calais and France cope with the migrant issue.

"They expel them without solutions," said Bourdet of Secours Catholique, echoing the charge that Calais migrants have been reduced to a security problem.

Mignonet disagrees.

"It is a doubly catastrophic situation for us," he said, explaining that the migrants suffer and Calais suffers, too. "People only talk of Calais for its migrant problems ... This seriously hurts the city's image."

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bharrison777 August 05 2014 at 4:55 PM

In the end these migrants will turn whatever country they are in into the country they left.

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6 replies
sparticlistic August 05 2014 at 5:51 PM

These Muslim migrants are soldiers of the Muslim RELIGION and its Fascist,Islamic form of GOVERNMENT. Their mission is the worldwide spread of Islam,replacment of all Democratic governments with Islamic GOVERNMENTS and the conversion or death of all infidels to their RELIGION. Unfortunately for Libya, Iraq, Afganistan,Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Gaza strip, West Bank, Lebanon, African countries, Indonesia and Phillipines, they will all soon be controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood or other Islamic conservative, liberal, terrorist, fundamentalist spinoffs, ruled by Muslim Clerics. We can't totally stop their progress, but we can slow it down by stopping all immigration of Muslims into Western Countries. It is already almost too late for England ( and France,Netherlands). Muslim clerics have already forced English Courts of Law, to accept certain tenants of Sharia law into English courts. These same clerics are now pushing for exclusive Sharia law courts for Muslims in England. Go to: YouTube every day Muslim immigrants (not terrorist,radicals) marching in England,France,Netherlands. Scary stuff. They are already sending Muslim immigrants to the U.S., legal or otherwise. They are using religion as a cover, through gangs, prisons,education,government,military,social services,other.though whatever means necessary, to implement small parts of their Islamic form of GOVERNMENT (as much as possible). Whenever possible they will use our Democratic rights, freedoms and protections against us, to grow Islamic Fascism and minimize our culture,religions,freedoms,rights and form of government.” Call them out BY NAME, for who they are and what they really want, before it is too late.

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5 replies
ram4131 August 05 2014 at 6:18 PM

Without exception- their own countries are so screwed up, they are looking for a new country to screw up.

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3 replies
harry August 05 2014 at 6:05 PM

This seems to be a universal problems or coup. 3rd world migrants invading the western nations in mass?. Look at the American invasion of illegal immigrants? Best way for terrorist to enter. Britain better protect it's borders on this one and France ought to get tough. This is eventually going to destroy all of Western civilization unless it is stopped.

Flag Reply +24 rate up
3 replies
buddwhyzr August 05 2014 at 6:25 PM

Notice how they don't go to Russia or China? It's because they know it would NOT be tolerated. We need to get tougher on this people.

Flag Reply +24 rate up
1 reply
mike zonn buddwhyzr August 05 2014 at 9:17 PM

Close all the borders and throw out all undesirables. By that I mean South America, Africa and any Muslim septic tank.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
brenhatestwinkie mike zonn August 06 2014 at 1:35 AM

you missed the trash from europe

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callealle August 05 2014 at 6:02 PM

send them home they will only live off the citizens of this country. britian does not need them either. go back to where u came from and stay the hell away from us. we have enough of them

Flag Reply +19 rate up
1 reply
mike zonn callealle August 05 2014 at 9:22 PM

They are vermin looking to infect other countries with their ignorance, diseases and murderous religion.

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jaiger2469 August 05 2014 at 6:03 PM

1.300 has overwhelmed the services and police in Calais- watch out America, we just let in 100,000 illegals thru our border and are now paying for them, feeding, housing and health! If youre an American citizen you get the government taking your wages and giving them away to illegals

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2 replies
okitori jaiger2469 August 05 2014 at 6:25 PM

Wouldn't it be nice if they stayed in their own country and worked on making their country as prosperous as ours is. We have bleeding hearts such as Pelosi who bemoan the unaccompanied children--most are teenagers and young adults that the US taxpayer is expected to care for in resorts--some have even been flown to Hawaii or Virgin Islands! The majority of young children are coming in with their parents.

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1 reply
Sandra okitori August 05 2014 at 8:51 PM

If they won't stay to fight for their own country, do not expect them to fight for the one they flee to. They want someone else to support them, us to sacrifice the future of our children to protect and support them rather than fight for the future of their own country. Our founding fathers and those of that time fought for this country, our sons and daughters fight now for this country, but notice a lot of these illegals are men who won't fight for their own homeland. I did not tell them to have a bunch of children but now they expect my taxes to support them. I would rather my tax dollars go to St Jude's hospital than illegals who do not even love their own country to stay and fight and yes die (as our people have done!) for it.

Flag +1 rate up
mike zonn jaiger2469 August 05 2014 at 9:27 PM

And it makes me sick but our libtard govt willingly allows it. It's being called "the browning of America". Diversity rules and patrolled by the PC police.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
gmcorbin958 August 05 2014 at 5:32 PM

Glad to see other Countries are having the same problems the US is having

Flag Reply +14 rate up
4 replies
Viper1ex19 August 05 2014 at 6:15 PM

To a US City Near You!!

Flag Reply +13 rate up
4 replies
Jo August 05 2014 at 5:44 PM

It's understandable that they are fleeing their countries. On the other hand, there's only so much France, England, USA and other countries can do to accommodate them all.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
1 reply
mike zonn Jo August 05 2014 at 9:37 PM

Well I don't understand why these vermin live in the stone age, destroy and kill, then want to go somewhere else and do the same thing again. Accommodate them with live rounds.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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