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Major evacuation of two refugee camps northeast of Paris (AFP)

FRANCE (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — French police on Thursday carried out a major evacuation of two camps containing between 600 and 1,200 immigrants in northeastern Paris, an AFP correspondent reported.

As of 6 am (0500 GMT), 600 police had been escorting migrants in tents near Paris’ ring road to buses to take them to sports halls or reception centers.

Awa, 32, has been sleeping under a tent in Port-La-Chapelle since arriving in France a year ago. She was not transferred to any reception center before today. In line waiting to board the bus, she said they came at 3:00 am to offer her that.

“It’s raining and the weather is cold,” she told AFP. “I don’t know where to go, but I’m glad that tonight I will sleep inside a building.”

This major operation, unprecedented in more than a year, comes in an atmosphere of escalating rhetoric on immigration policy and the day after the “pledge” made by Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.

Castaner confirmed Wednesday in government statements on immigration that migrants will be evacuated from camps in northeastern Paris “by the end of the year.”

“I cannot leave such a situation as dangerous not only to people living on the street but also to cars. This situation cannot continue,” Paris police official Didier Laloman told the press.

“This operation was decided as part of the implementation of the government’s plan and it is not a coincidence. The situation must be changed through the evacuation of the camps,” he said.

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