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France police evacuate 2,100 refugees from Paris camp

16 September 2016 22:05

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French police have demolished a tent camp housing nearly 2,100 refugees in the capital Paris.

The makeshift camp, which was evacuated at dawn on Friday, was already cleared of some 700 refugees last month.

The 2,083 refugees, mostly Sudanese, Eritreans and Afghans, were moved to about 60 shelters in the Paris area, said French Housing Minister Emmanuelle Cosse, who was present during the evacuation.


Refugees gather and wait before being evacuated from a makeshift camp set up in Paris, France, September 16, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

France is mainly seen by refugees as a transit country to other destinations in Europe. Most of the refugees who stay in Paris seek to head to the port of Calais, where they hope to continue their journey on to Britain by hiring smugglers.

However, France has struggled to cope with the high number of refugees and asylum seekers arriving in the country in the last two years.

The Friday operation was the 30th of its kind since June 2015, when some 19,000 people were evacuated. It was also the second major camp closure in the Paris area since July 22, when 2,500 people were taken to shelters.

Europe is facing an unprecedented influx of refugees, who are fleeing conflict-ridden zones in Africa and the Middle East, particularly Syria.

Many blame major European powers for the unprecedented exodus, saying their policies have led to a surge in terrorism and war in those regions, forcing more people to flee their homes.

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