BBC

Migrant crisis: Paris's 'Stalingrad' camp clearance begins

BBC


French authorities have begun clearing a makeshift migrant camp housing more than 3,000 people in Paris.

Several hundred men began queuing near the Stalingrad metro station before 06:00 local time and the first bus left shortly afterwards.

They are being taken to reception centres in the Paris region, AFP news agency reported.

The operation follows the evacuation of about 7,000 people from the "Jungle" camp in Calais a week ago.

A spokeswoman for the Paris prefecture said the operation was running smoothly.

The migrants, many from war-torn countries such as Afghanistan and Sudan, would be able to make asylum requests once they were in holding centres, she said.

Some 600 police officers are taking part in the evacuation, she said.

The Stalingrad camp was previously cleared in July and September, but migrants quickly returned and their numbers grew as the Calais camp was closed.

"I have no idea where we are going. Paris or nearby, it's fine for me. The important thing for me is to have papers. I've been here for a month in a tent, it's good to leave," said Khalid, a 28-year-old migrant.

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