An African migrant planning to enter Britain illegally was killed in a gang fight that broke out between 200 Africans and Afghans in the Calais Jungle migrant camp, adding to the toll of violence and destruction at the besieged French seaside town.
On Monday night two gang fights broke out between groups of Africans and Afghans, where the migrants attacked each other with knives and batons. A 37-year-old Eritrean, who was planning on illegally crossing the Channel and claiming asylum in Britain, was stabbed in the chest and died. Six other Africans were injured.
French police have said that the man was the eighth to be killed in the camp this year.
The area was cordoned off and an investigation opened, police appealing for witnesses as they examine roadside CCTV footage.
Aid workers have warned that the camp, known as the Calais Jungle, is “a pressure cooker about to blow”, as French authorities have begun to dismantle illegal cafés in the camp.
Migrants are becoming agitated fearing that the entire camp is about to be dismantled following the mayor of Calais, Natacha Bouchart, warning that the Jungle will be “torn down” saying that they “could not wait any longer”.
Earlier this year the southern half of the camp was demolished. Migrants were encouraged to move out of the squalid tents into an established official sector within the camp, constructed of shipping containers and heated tents, as well as being invited to be transported to one of France’s 136 official reception centres.
But the number of migrants had risen since March, with a reported up to 6,000 mainly young male migrants remaining in the northern shanty sector.
Thousands of security officials are tasked with policing the camp, and halting migrants’ nightly attempts to stow away on lorries, ferries, and trains to cross the Channel and reach Britain.
However, violence in and emanating from the camp is commonplace, particularly between different ethnic groups. In May 40 migrants were injured when some 200 Afghan and Sudanese men fought each other with guns, batons, and knives.
Violence also spills out onto the roads, affecting British travellers. Lorry drivers have been stabbed and beaten as migrants attacked their lorries, attempting to board. And last month thousands of migrants blocked roads in Calais, rioted, and attacked British tourists in their cars in a coordinated attempt to break into the UK en masse.