DUNKIRK, France (World Watch Monitor) — Local churches in Dunkirk helped to evacuate terrified migrants on Monday as a devastating fire spread through their camp in northern France.
La Linière camp in Grande-Synthe, just outside Dunkirk, housed an estimated 1,500 migrants, including a handful of Christian converts, but has now been reduced to “a heap of ashes”, a local official said.
At least a dozen people were injured—some as a result of the blaze, others because of the knife fight that preceded it, when Kurdish and Afghan migrants clashed. Three Iranian converts to Christianity needed medical treatment for burns on their legs. Another migrant was knocked down by a car on a road outside the camp and is now in a critical condition.
Yesterday afternoon police were called to break up the knife fight, involving six people, in which at least five were injured. Later, at around 10.30pm, Afghan migrants reportedly began to set fire to the chipboard cabins in which the migrants lived, and the fires quickly spread. Riot police intervened.