Published: Wed, April 12, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Huge fire devastates migrant camp in northern France

Huge fire devastates migrant camp in northern France

The Grande-Synthe immigrant camp near Dunkirk has been destroyed after a fight between Afghan and Kurdish people being homed there - with six people suffering serious knife wounds.

"We just don't know where they are", she said, estimating that at least 600 migrants remain unaccounted for.

The Afghans were apparently unhappy at being put up in the communal kitchens while the Kurds slept in chalets. They argued about their territory and their personal space.

MSF contributed 2.6 million euros to setting the camp up.

The population of the Grande-Synthe camp has grown since last October's destruction of the "Jungle" camp near Calais, about 40 km away.

The Grande-Synthe camp near Dunkirk housed a total of 1,500 refugees from the Middle East.

Sights like these in recent years to some extent drove Britons to vote for a divorce from Europe last summer.

Firefighters worked to contain the flames lapping the night sky and devouring the fragile shelters of migrants who were evacuated bit by bit to local gymnasiums.

There have been several violent incidents at the Grande-Synthe camp, with police intervening last month after five men were injured in a fight.

One migrant was knocked over by a auto on a highway outside the camp and was in a critical condition. The riot stopped with police intervention. The prefect, or highest state official in the region, rushed to the scene.

Now, it has been reduced to a "heap of ashes" after skirmishes caused the closely packed wooden huts to catch alight.

Le Pen on Tuesday repeated that she would close migrant camps and France's borders, also drastically cutting migration should she be elected.

The charity Help Refugees has set up an appeal for those left homeless. A sudden influx of well over 1000 displaced migrants will only make what is already a bad situation much, much worse.

"The issue today is to shelter those people who live outside at the moment, and to build a future for them", Lalande told reporters.

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