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  • Migrant-refugees disrupted the Channel Tunnel overnight at the French port of Calais connecting the United Kingdom and France.

    Migrant-refugees disrupted the Channel Tunnel overnight at the French port of Calais connecting the United Kingdom and France. | Photo: AFP

Published 28 July 2015

Many people labeled “migrants” awaiting in Calais camps in France are actually asylum seekers from conflict zones like Syria, Eritrea or Afghanistan.

While Eurotunnel group claimed Tuesday that 2,000 migrants disrupted the Channel Tunnel at French port Calais connecting the United Kingdom and France overnight, French police officials said Tuesday that the group's statement was exaggerated.

“Small groups [of migrants] regularly try to enter, and are repelled; yet it is incorrect to say that there were 2,000 migrants at the same time,” they told AFP. They also informed that 200 migrants – asylum seekers – had been arrested that night, and six injured.

Earlier, a Eurotunnel spokesperson praised the efficiency of its security body, saying that all units were mobilized to repel intrusions on the site, which occurred “between midnight and 6 a.m.”

RELATEDThe Making of the Migration Crisis

The French Minister of Interior repeated Eurotunnel’s version of, saying that about 2,000 migrants disrupted the tunnel - “the most important attempt over the past month and a half.”

He later met with his British counterpart Theresa May, showing efforts of deep collaboration on the topic – contrasting with the tense relations in recent months as both countries were accusing each other to fail solving the issue.

Many people labeled “migrants” awaiting in Calais camps are actually asylum seekers coming from conflict zones like Syria, Eritrea or Afghanistan.

RELATEDThe Human Face of Migration: Searching for Safety Abroad

Thousands of them have died this year alone crossing the Mediterranean to arrive in Europe, often exploited by traffickers, and crammed onto small, rickety boats unfit for sea, while many end up losing their lives from the voyage.

The raids come as European governments are debating how to handle the migrant crisis, which has so far resulted in increasing military action against trafficking boats carrying migrants.

RELATEDHow Europe Created Its Own Refugee Crisis

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