French police use tear gas to stop migrants

Migrants get sprayed with chemicals as they try to pass to Britain via Channel Tunnel in Coquelles, France

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Aug 3, 2015

French police sprayed migrants using chemicals in their attempt to reach Britain through the channel tunnel on Saturday.

The migrants managed to go through many security fences, aiming at reaching the last fence, but were dispersed after riot police interfered.

The migrants were attempting to cross to Britain. According to the Associated Press, around 200 migrants clashed with police while shouting "Open the border,” and "We are not animals."

The Channel Tunnel has been operating since 1994, connecting Folkestone, Kent, in the UK, with Coquelles, near Calais. It hosts Eurostar trains for passengers as well as freights and has constantly dealt with immigrant issues since its opening.

The migrants are trying to enter the tunnel illegally as they flee war and impoverished conditions in the hope of finding employment and a better future.

Officials worry about the amount of attempts made by migrants to flee war and conditions of poverty in their homelands.

Britain’s Interior Minister Theresa May stated that French and British authorities have cut off more than 8,000 attempts to cross to into the UK illegally between June 21 and July 11.

Theresa May and French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve wrote in the Sunday Telegraph that the migrants crisis is their “top priority.”

"We must break the link between crossing the Mediterranean and achieving settlement in Europe for economic reasons," they added.

According to the British and French interior ministers, the issue needs to be resolved as it is an "global migration crisis."

TRTWorld and agencies