Flaming barricades return: Migrants clash with police in Calais just a day after French official warned of fresh surge of people trying to get to the UK

  • Migrants tried to use the barricades to force lorries heading to England to stop
  • Police confirmed it was first use of the tactics since the destruction of ‘Jungle’
  • HGV drivers, many of them from Britain, have also reported attacks
  • Xavier Bertrand, Calais’ most senior politician, has warned of a chaotic summer

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UK-bound migrants[2] have set fire to an improvised barricade in the middle of a busy motorway near Calais for the first time since the destruction of the so-called ‘Jungle’ camp six months ago.

The migrants tried to use the obstruction on the A16 at Marck to force lorries heading to England to stop so they could climb aboard.

Would-be stowaways regularly used the burning barricades before the ‘Jungle’ camp was razed last October, and up to 8,000 people were relocated to other parts of France.

French police officers stand guard as migrants set fire to an improvised barricade in the middle of a busy motorway near Calais yesterday

French police officers stand guard as migrants set fire to an improvised barricade in the middle of a busy motorway near Calais yesterday

The migrants tried to use the obstruction on the A16 at Marck to force lorries heading to England to stop so they could climb aboard

The migrants tried to use the obstruction on the A16 at Marck to force lorries heading to England to stop so they could climb aboard

‘The latest barricade went up at around 3.30 am on Thursday,’ said a spokesman for the prefecture that covers Calais.

‘Piles of wood, including tree branches, were placed on the road, and then attempts were made to light them all.

‘There was no disruption to traffic on this occasion, and the police managed to clear the obstruction quickly, but the return of these methods is certainly worrying.’

Local police confirmed that it was the first time such tactics were used since the destruction of the camp.

HGV drivers, many of them from Britain, have also reported attacks including bricks and branches being thrown at their windscreens, while tyres have also been slashed.

Pictured, migrants were seen gathering cardboard to build makeshift shelters near the former 'Jungle' camp

Pictured, migrants were seen gathering cardboard to build makeshift shelters near the former ‘Jungle’ camp

It follows Xavier Bertrand, the most senior politician in the Calais area, warning of a summer of chaos as thousands of migrants return

It follows Xavier Bertrand, the most senior politician in the Calais area, warning of a summer of chaos as thousands of migrants return

Police have also seen small groups of Eritrean and Ethiopian migrants fighting with each other, almost certainly over people smuggling routes.

It follows Xavier Bertrand, the most senior politician in the Calais area, warning of a summer of chaos as thousands of migrants return.

Mr Bertrand, head of the Hauts-de-Franceregional council, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Edouard Philippe early this week saying: ‘The situation has become worrying again. I’m regularly alerted by road hauliers who are seeing an upsurge in damage caused to their trucks.

‘Every day residents, elected and business leadersexpress their concerns about the return of the migrants to Calais.’

Pictured, French riot police signal to a migrant who is on his knees as French authorites block their access to a food distribution point in Calais

Pictured, French riot police signal to a migrant who is on his knees as French authorites block their access to a food distribution point in Calais

There are thought to be between 300 and 600 migrants living in squats within a 30-mile radius of the town

There are thought to be between 300 and 600 migrants living in squats within a 30-mile radius of the town

The crisis worsened in April when an official camp set up by the local council in Grande-Synthe, near Dunkirk, burnt down

The crisis worsened in April when an official camp set up by the local council in Grande-Synthe, near Dunkirk, burnt down

There are thought to be between 300 and 600 migrants living in squats within a 30-mile radius of the town.

The crisis worsened in April when an official camp set up by the local council in Grande-Synthe, near Dunkirk, burnt down following a fight between Afghan and Sudanese men in April.

Some of the residents moved to Calais, and are still sleeping rough in the town.

The return of hot weather over the summer traditionally leads to a huge increase in the number of migrants in the port town.

Dozens of migrants gather near lorries which head towards the ferry terminal in Calais, France, October 3, 2015 - file image

Dozens of migrants gather near lorries which head towards the ferry terminal in Calais, France, October 3, 2015 – file image

The Calais Jungle camp after it was cleared of migrants six months ago. Truck drivers are reporting violence for the first time since it was dismantled

The Calais Jungle camp after it was cleared of migrants six months ago.

Truck drivers are reporting violence for the first time since it was dismantled

Earlier, Pauline Bastidon, of the Freight Transport Association, said: ‘There is a need for urgent action by the French government to ensure that the area is policed adequately, and to protect drivers transporting goods, so that trade can continue to flow freely between France and the UK.’

Ms Bastidon’s words were echoed by David Sagnard, president of France’s National Federation of Road Transporters, who said: ‘The state must do everything possible to avoid migrants setting up camps in Calais again, and then putting these roadblocks in place’.

The attacks took place just after 4am on Sunday, and were ‘extremely well coordinated,’ said the police source.

The camp was torn down at the end of last year and thousands of migrants were dispersed across France and the rest of Europe

The camp was torn down at the end of last year and thousands of migrants were dispersed across France and the rest of Europe

‘As well as the road blocks, stones and pieces of wood were thrown at vehicles in an attempt to stop them, and to create tail backs which would enable them to get on to lorries.

‘Most of those involved managed to run away by the time police turned up, so we do not know their identifies or nationalities.’

Riot police arrived at the scene of the trouble, which was on an interchange between the A16 motorway, and the Calais ring road.

Such scenes were routine when the Jungle was full of mainly young men from countries such as Afghanistan and Eritrea trying to get to Britain.

HGV drivers and other motorists were frequently injured, while there were also gang fights between the migrants themselves.

The truck drivers reported smashed windscreens and slashed tyres in an attack on Sunday night in the port of Calais

The truck drivers reported smashed windscreens and slashed tyres in an attack on Sunday night in the port of Calais

References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ migrants (www.dailymail.co.uk)

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