France - - Nouvelles -

A camp hous­ing up to 1,500 mi­grants near the Chan­nel port of Dunkerque has been dev­as­tated in a fire. At least ten peo­ple were in­jured when flames rav­aged closely packed wooden shel­ters at the Grande-syn­the camp.

The blaze, which was be­ing treated as ar­son, came hours af­ter a clash in­volv­ing up to 150 mi­grants. Six peo­ple were in­jured, with three be­ing treated in hos­pi­tal for knife wounds, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal of­fi­cials.

“There is noth­ing left but a heap of ashes,” said Michel La­lande, pre­fect of the Nord dé­parte­ment. The camp was evac­u­ated and the mi­grants housed in emer­gency ac­com­mo­da­tion, which in­cluded two gym­na­si­ums, he added.

Among those housed at the camp was Iraqi mi­grant Al­bidani. “I lost all my doc­u­ments,” he said, stand­ing next to the charred re­mains of the wooden shel­ters. “I just have only this pa­per that says I’m a refugee in France.”

The Grande-syn­the camp, ( pic­tured be­low be­fore the fire) was built by med­i­cal char­ity Médécins Sans Fron­tières and opened in March 2016. Its pop­u­la­tion had grown af­ter the clo­sure last Oc­to­ber of the Calais ‘Jun­gle’ camp, which stood 40 kilo­me­tres west along the coast.

Sev­eral vi­o­lent in­ci­dents have been recorded at the Dunkerque camp; po­lice in­ter­vened in March af­ter a fight left five men in­jured, and a man was stabbed last Novem­ber.

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