Huge migrant camp evacuated from under Stalingrad metro station in Paris (PHOTOS)
Shortly after 6:00am local time (04:00 GMT), the first migrants, including those from Sudan and Afghanistan, began to board buses to take them to refugee shelters.
Il reste environ 250 personnes à évacuer à Stalingrad . Plus de 800 l'ont déjà été et sont dirigées vers des centres pic.twitter.com/H7vzT0bVOD— Pierre Henry (@pierrehenry75) May 2, 2016
French security forces were positioned early Monday morning near the station, Le Parisien newspaper reported. The authorities blocked the traffic in the area and closed the station.
“They will be sent to [migrant] centers in Ile-de-France [region] and other provinces,” said Sophie Brocas, secretary general of the Prefecture of Ile-de-France.
Between 400 and 500 asylum seekers were registered in the camp earlier on Sunday, according to French media.
Ninety minutes after the start of the operation, three quarters of the migrants had been evacuated.
Évacuation dans le calme du camp de Stalingrad - pic.twitter.com/cZZzpL6Ybs— Pierre Henry (@pierrehenry75) May 2, 2016
“We are glad to leave,” Mustafa, a 24-year-old Afghan refugee, told Le Parisien. “There were fights every night at the camp.”
The camp has already seen two evacuations. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced the removal of the camp on March 30 in a joint statement with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, but the migrants returned with makeshift mattresses every time.
Earlier in April, the camp witnessed fierce battles between asylum seekers. Hundreds of migrants were seen attacking each other with metal poles, planks of wood and other debris in an alarming video, recorded by residents from a nearby building. At least four people were seriously injured.