French police have stormed and dismantled a migrant camp near the French city of Calais over fears it was being used to recruit extremists.
Around 200 officers descended on the camp at Téteghem, clearing out all the residents before local volunteers helped erase all traces of the camp’s existence.
The town’s mayor, Franck Dhersin, described the migrant site as a “rebel camp that we can tolerate no longer,” according to local news site Le Phare Dunkerquois.
He insisted, however, that the decision to clear the camp was taken a week ago, before the Paris terror attacks.
“It’s a relief,” he said: “I have been demanding this dismantling for months.”
“This morning, there was a first phase between 7.30 and 8.30am to arrest the last two people smugglers in the camp, then the evacuation was started.”
He added that he had become concerned at the amount of proselytising taking place in the camp, fearing it could be used for jihadi recruitment: “I saw with my own eyes an English group hand out Korans and organise sermons and prayers.”
The Daily Mail says local police commissioner Jean Henri described the clearance as a “humanitarian operation.”
“It was explained to them that the camp must close, but they need to understand that we are not putting them in jail,” he added.
The migrants have been temporarily sent to a sports hall where they will be put on five buses and distributed around other parts of France.
Breitbart London reported in August on how British people smugglers were taking advantage of the camp, with one man with a British accent even threatening a Sky News camera crew who came to investigate.
One local aid worker said: “English cars, all English cars come here, get people to Calais and leave them somewhere 5km, 10km away from the port of Calais and they do what they can.
“After three or four tries the smugglers ask them to pay again, it’s a lot of money, it is €1,500 (£1,050) for one crossing.”