Migrants held in France after driver killed at Calais roadblock


LILLE, France, June 20 (Reuters) - A van driver was killed
on Tuesday when he crashed into a tail-back on a motorway near
the northern French port of Calais where migrants had blocked
the way with tree trunks, a local government official said.
    For years Calais has been a launching pad for migrants from
the Middle East and Africa trying to reach Britain illegally.
Last year the French government shut down a makeshift camp known
as 'The Jungle' that housed thousands of migrants, but large
numbers have returned to the area.
    Many of them congregate by motorways or along the rail line
that goes though the Channel Tunnel, attempting to hide in the
back of trucks or stowaway on trains.
    "Nine Eritrean migrants found in one of the heavy goods
trucks held up by the roadblock were arrested," the official
from the Pas-de-Calais region said. "They were taken into
    The Polish-registered van burst into flames when it crashed
into trucks halted at the spot at about 0145 GMT. The driver's
nationality was not immediately known.
    Migrants regularly try to stop trucks bound for Britain via
Calais, throwing branches or other objects onto the roadways to
slow or bring vehicles to a halt so that they can slip into the
cargo-section and hide.
    One police source said there had been an increase in such
incidents in recent weeks.

 (Reporting by Pierre Savary; Writing by Brian Love; Editing by
Richard Lough)
 ((brian.love@thomsonreuters.com; +33 1 4949 5363;))


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