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Calais: Migrants Smash Through Car Window, Attack Women Inside with Makeshift Wooden Weapons

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Two women who were driving through Calais thought they were facing certain death when a mob of asylum seekers smashed through the car window and attacked them with sticks, a court has heard.

Nord Littoral reports that the pair were driving through the French city’s Beau-Marais neighbourhood on Wednesday evening when, shortly before 10 pm, their vehicle was approaching a roundabout when a group of around a dozen men walked up to the car and surrounded it.

Five or six of the migrants, who were heavily intoxicated from alcohol and had reportedly been stumbling around in the area insulting locals, “started whacking the car with stones and tree branches”, according to one of the women.

“I was so scared. We thought it was the end for us,” she said, describing how one of the attackers struck her in the face with a piece of wood after the men managed to smash through the car window on the passenger side.

Two of the three individuals said to have led the attack, both of whom were 19 years old, were identified by police from the women’s description and taken into custody last week.

Appearing at the high court in Boulogne-sur-Mer at the weekend, Jemal Ebro and Yared Hagos both denied the charges against them.

Eritrea-born Hagos claimed he was not at the scene when the violence took place while Ebro, an Ethiopian national, denied hitting the passenger in the face with a chunk of wood.

The women, however, were insistent about the identity of the culprits, with local media reporting they spoke with great certainty when telling the court, “It was them”.

“He was standing right next to the window, staring at us with that exact same look. We are sure it’s him,” the judge was told.

Both women had to take 10 days’ leave from work as a result of the physical and psychological damage suffered during the attack, the court heard.

“We thought we were going to die. I was so scared,” said the woman who had been driving the car when it was surrounded by asylum seekers, almost breaking into tears as she spoke.

Found guilty, Ebro and Hagos were sentenced to 18 months and 12 months jail terms, respectively, and ordered to pay damages to the victims, as the prosecutor condemned the “gratuitous violence” enacted by the pair.

On Monday, the UNSA police union reported that four officers were injured at the hands of another band of asylum seekers who were “heavily intoxicated” from drinking alcohol.

Denouncing the attack as a “complete ambush”, the union said one gendarme was knocked unconscious and seriously hurt after he was “brutally beaten by a migrant armed with a huge rock” while three more officers were injured in clashes with a group of illegal immigrants who had broken into a company’s business premises.

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