French police clear thousands from Paris migrant camp | News | DW | 04.11.2016
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French police clear thousands from Paris migrant camp

Authorities in Paris have started moving migrants living under a railway bridge in the French capital. The number of people in the makeshift Paris camp soared after the demolition of the "Jungle" near Calais.

Police moved in at dawn on Friday to clear a sprawling tent encampment situated underneath a metro bridge in Paris' Stalingrad district.

The operation to evacuate the camp, which is home to an estimated 3,000 migrants, began peacefully, according to a journalist for the AFP news agency.

Hundreds of migrants reportedly cheered as the first bus arrived to take them to reception centers around the greater Paris region.

"The evacuation operation is running smoothly so far," a spokeswoman for the Paris prefecture told Reuters news agency, adding that all the camp's inhabitants would be moved out by the end of Friday.

Around 600 police officers have been deployed at the location, she said. Bulldozers could also be seen dismantling rows of tents on the sidewalks.

The Paris camp was already dismantled by authorities in July and September, but tents popped up around the bridge again following the clearing of the "Jungle" camp in the northern port city of Calais. Some of the migrants fled to Paris following the demolition.

City officials hope to open a migrant reception center in Paris to prevent future makeshift camps from reforming.

Thousands of people were forced out of the Calais camp and relocated to centers around France in a massive operation last week.

An estimated 6,000 people lived in squalid conditions within the makeshift "Jungle" camp after fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

rs/sms (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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