A massive fight involving more than 100 Eritrean and Afghan nationals broke out in Calais, a French city that previously hosted an infamous refugee camp dubbed the "Jungle," leaving at least four teenage migrants aged between 16 and 18 in critical condition after being shot. According to media reports, the migrants had been standing in a queue waiting for food handouts.
At least a dozen others were injured during the nearly two-hour clashes, with about 22 people being hospitalized.
Local authorities said police intervened to "protect the Afghan migrants faced with 150 to 200 Eritrean migrants."
Affrontements entre migrants: ce qu'il s'est passé ce jeudi à Calais pic.twitter.com/q89vfP3nhg— BFMTV (@BFMTV) 2 февраля 2018 г.
22 are wounded, including four by bullets during a fight
Two police officers, who intervened in the clashes, were wounded as well, media reported, citing local authorities.
The fights that have recently increased in Calais drew the attention of the French government, with the interior minister announcing a surprise visit there to "take stock of the situation."
"We have reached an escalation of violence that has become unbearable for both those from Calais and migrants," Gerard Collomb said.
Affrontements entre migrants à Calais: "C'est un degré de violence jamais atteint", déclare le ministre de l'Intérieur Gérard Colomb arrivé sur place vers— France Bleu Nord (@fbleunord) 2 февраля 2018 г.
minuit (Photo AFP) https://t.co/yY4zoTBJ8m pic.twitter.com/LaKudRdUZJ
Clashes between migrants in Calais: "This is a degree of violence that had never been reached," says Interior Minister Gerard Colomb, who arrived there at midnight
When announcing a new border security agreement with Britain last month, French President Emmanuel Macron stated that "in no case will we allow another 'Jungle' here."
However, humanitarian groups working in the area claim there are at least 800 migrants left in the area after the demolition of the refugee camp.
Over the past years, several minors have died after attempting to illegally cross the English Channel from Calais to the United Kingdom due to months-long delays in the legal family reunification procedure. The situation prompted concerns of human rights groups in both the United Kingdom and France.