Fire rips through migrant camp as rival gangs brawl
Apr 12 2017
Hundreds of migrants were evacuated to local gymnasiums late Monday as the fire consumed their fragile homes.
A camp housing 1,500 migrants in northern France has been destroyed in a fire that officials said began during a fight between Afghans and Kurds.
At least 10 people were hurt when closely-packed wooden huts burned down, according to firefighters.
Michel Lalande, prefect of France's Nord region, said the fierce blaze destroyed most of the 300 huts in the camp.The migrants were evacuated and would be rehoused in emergency accommodation, the prefect said.
Last week, migrants from Grande-Synthe had tried to block the nearby highway with tree trunks and branches to try and stop the traffic and clamber onto the trucks and cars in the hope of reaching the UK.
The camp was set up in March 2016 by Dunkirk city council and Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) to shelter British-bound refugees and migrants who had been living in squalid conditions in an unofficial camp nearby.
France's northern coast has always been a gathering point for refugees attempting to enter the United Kingdom across the English Channel.
Five people were injured in the fight among 100 to 150 migrants, leaving three of them in hospital with knife wounds, the prefecture said.
A migrant camp in France was devastated by a fire, as two rival groups turned on each other, with police firing tear gas to separate them, the media reported on Tuesday.
That's the reaction of the Road Haulage Association to the news that the fire (linked to fighting between approximately 150 Kurds and Afghans) made 1,500 migrants "homeless" in just a couple of hours.
Clashes, as well as small fires, have occurred in the past in the La Liniere camp.
Firefighters said at least 10 people were injured in the inferno overnight, which was visible several kilometres away.
People in France - and the rest of Europe - have grown increasingly hostile to the huge wave of refugees that has been coming to the continent over the last few years. "We lost everything", Albidani said.