French riot police have charged and fired tear gas grenades at hundreds of migrants attempting to reach the port of Calais in a desperate bid to reach the UK. The clashes come as work begins on a UK-financed "Great Wall of Calais" to prevent migrants from the makeshift camp known as "The Jungle" from stopping traffic and boarding UK-bound trains.
According to Reuters, eye witnesses and police saw clashes between hundreds of migrants attempting to move along an access road and police there to stop them. A police source told the Mail: "Missiles were thrown at officers, and migrants tried to get out of the camp, and on to nearby roads. Their aim was to stop lorries heading for Britain."
There have been a number of clashes in the area before, and migrants have been filmed obstructing the roads and attacking trucks in a bid to clamber aboard.
There has been tragedy too, including an incident in which teenaged Afghan refugee Raheemullah Oryakhel died after apparently falling from a truck and being hit by a car on Friday (16 September). His was the third death of a child migrant to be reported in Calais this year (2016).
Adults have also been killed after falling under trains and lorries. There are an estimated 10,000 migrants living in squalid conditions in the Jungle, and reports of violence and sexual exploitation are rife.
Migration is thought to have played a major role in the decision made by Britons to vote to leave the EU on 23 June, with many concerned about refugees travelling freely through Europe to reach the UK.
The government has now started work on a £2m, 13-foot wall in Calais to stop migrants reaching trains and vehicles queuing to cross the English Channel. There have even been cases of migrants attempting to walk the length of the Channel Tunnel, though only one is known to have succeeded so far.
However, many experts have decried the construction of the wall as a waste of money. Road Haulage Association spokeswoman Kate Gibbs said: "This is being called the Great Wall of Calais but what good will it do? This will be a tiny concrete alleyway that will serve very little purpose and not provide any security."