Parts of Calais camp destroyed with fire

Parts of Calais camp destroyed with fireFires have razed parts of the "Jungle" migrant camp in Calais, as French authorities continue operations to demolish it, BBC reported on Wednesday.

At least one gas canister exploded with one migrant lightly injured. Huts were set on fire overnight on the main street leading into the camp, leaving them in ashes. This may have been a last act of defiance from migrants who did not want to leave and did not want to see their shelters taken down by the authorities.

The prefect of Pas-de-Calais, Fabienne Buccio, told BFMTV is was "a tradition among the migrant population to destroy their homes before leaving".

The clearance began on Monday and about 4,000 migrants - out of some 7,000 - have been taken from the squalid camp to shelters around France. There are concerns remain that some will refuse to give up their attempts to cross the Channel to the UK.

The operation has been largely peaceful so far. Migrants queued again on Wednesday to wait for buses to take them out of the camp, with the situation calmer than the jostling of the previous morning.

Crews began dismantling the "Jungle" with sledgehammers on Tuesday. The work has been carried out mostly by hand, and in a low-key manner, as officials believe sending in bulldozers at this point would send the wrong message to migrants.

The demolition is expected to continue on Wednesday, and is planned to be completed by Friday.

The Calais police commissioner says only about 200 people are expected to be in the camp then. About 3,000 migrants have been moved out on coaches to centres across France, while another 1,000 unaccompanied minors have been given accommodation in containers near the Jungle.

The charity Save the Children has voiced concern for what it says are hundreds of minors who have been unable to register for the shelters and have nowhere safe to stay during the demolition.

Almost 200 children from the camp have been brought to the UK, some of them under the "Dubs" amendment to the Immigration Act, according to UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd. The amendment allows particularly vulnerable children - such as girls and those under 13 - refuge in the UK, even if they do not have family already in the country.

More than 1,200 police officers have been deployed for the clearance operation in Calais. The French interior ministry said officers "might be forced to intervene" if there was unrest during the demolition.
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