Violence in Calais, France, is escalating as desperate migrants throw items at moving cars to hijack them in attempts to get to the United Kingdom.
A group of journalists from the Daily Mail narrowly escaped death last week when a group of migrants threw a log at their car, forcing a crash with a 38-ton truck in Calais. The tactic of hijacking cars with logs and branches have become increasingly common in recent weeks, with about 30 barricades taking place each night.
“Migrants are throwing tree trunks, branches and shopping carts at cars on the motorway,” said Jean-Marc Puissesseau, president of the port of Calais, according to the Sunday Express. “It is very dangerous.”
The migrants, often organized by human traffickers, attempt to stop trucks bound for the United Kingdom so they can jump onboard and get smuggled across the border. French authorities estimate as many as 10,000 migrants successfully get across illegally each year.
“It’s vital that people feel safe when using the Channel ports,” British Home Secretary Amber Rudd told Mail on Sunday. “This shows just how it is in all our interests to combat attempts to enter the UK illegally.”
France recently moved to close the so-called “Jungle” migrant camp in Calais by the end of the year. Recent events have caused authorities to call in the army and evacuate the jungle immediately.
“We have to call in the army,” Calais Mayor Natacha Bouchart said, according to The Telegraph. “I don’t see how we can do otherwise, and it [the demolition] will have to be done in three or four days.”
Trade organization The Freight Transport Association (FTA), moved to protest the dangerous situation for its drivers by threatening to set up a barricade along the roads in Calais after meeting with France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve Friday.
“We did not get anything new, and consider that what was said are empty promises with no timetables to actually clear the Jungle camp,” FTA said in a statement Saturday. “Cazeneuve wasn’t convincing enough and so we will still go ahead with the protest.”
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