Migrants disrupt UK to France train traffic

2015-10-03 19:36
Police officers look at migrants sitting on the windows of a train. (Jure Makovec, AFP, file)

Police officers look at migrants sitting on the windows of a train. (Jure Makovec, AFP, file)

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Paris - Rail travellers between Britain and France have been warned of delays of up to three hours after a large group of migrants got on to tracks overnight in the French port city of Calais.

Eurotunnel said a "highly organised group of more than 100 migrants" broke into the tunnel terminal in Calais at about 22:30 GMT on Friday. All services were suspended overnight.

Eurostar passenger trains and vehicle ferry services resumed progressively on Saturday.

The French police took control of the situation on site to prevent migrants crossing to the UK, according to Eurotunnel.

"Such a large group had no chance of reaching the UK, so this was clearly an organised attack aimed at drawing media attention to the desperate situation of the migrants who are stuck in Calais", Eurotunnel said in a statement.

Two police officers and four migrants suffered minor injuries, local authorities of the Pas-de-Calais region said.

Calais is a focal point for thousands of migrants who are trying to cross illegally from France into Britain.

Security surrounding the tunnel beneath the English Channel has been ramped up in recent months. Barbed wire fences are going up around the complex, which has a perimeter of 28km, and security teams have been bolstered with more police and dogs at the site.

On Wednesday, an Eritrean migrant was found dead in the tunnel, the latest of 13 migrants killed this year in the area, most of them on the Eurotunnel site. The administration for the Pas-de-Calais region says the migrant was apparently hit by a freight train near the entrance to the tunnel in Calais.

Read more on:    uk  |  france  |  migrants

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