The violence broke out around 3pm on Thursday afternoon when a brawl began between rival gangs of migrants from Afghanistan and Eritrea “armed with sticks and stones” near Calais Hospital.
The fight, which lasted almost two hours, reportedly began with an Afghan migrant opening fire, AFP reported. At least four Eritreans, aged between 16 and 18, received bullet wounds, including one who was transported to the hospital in Lille in “very serious condition.” The others were taken to Calais Hospital for “urgent” surgery.
Three others suffered “multiple injuries.”
Shortly afterwards, over a hundred Eritreans “armed with sticks”charged at 20 Afghan migrants five kilometers (three miles) away from the first site, in the town of Marck, forcing police to intervene “to protect the Afghan migrants,” the local prefecture said, putting the number of Eritreans at 150 to 200.
Another incident happened in the industrial area near the infamous ‘Jungle’ migrant camp, which was shut down in October 2016. Scuffles broke out after Afghan migrant came to receive food handouts and were confronted by a crowd of African migrants, according to a prosecutor.
A total of 22 people were injured in the fracas, AFP reported.
The spike in violence follows a Calais police operation to remove squatters on Thursday morning. French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb urgently flew to Calais to voice his support for the police and discuss the situation with the local authorities.
“This is a degree of violence previously unknown,” Collomb said.
France: 5 migrants shot during fight in food queue
NB: Some images retrieved from Google, will remove at owner’s request.