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Clashes in migrant camps in France and Greece as tensions boil over

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01:53 - Source: CNN
Migrants storm Greek-Macedonian border fence

Story highlights

Clashes as French authorities begin to dismantle part of the "Jungle" migrant camp in Calais

Violent scenes erupt on Greece-Macedonia border at popular waypoint on migrant route

U.N. warns new restrictions by countries along Balkan migration route will cause bottleneck in Greece

CNN —  

Scores of migrants broke through a barbed-wire security fence on the Greece-Macedonia border Monday, as tensions over new restrictions along the key land route into Europe boiled over in violent scenes.

And more than 2,400 kilometers (1,500 miles) away in Calais, in northwest France, clashes erupted as authorities moved to dismantle structures at the “Jungle,” an infamous migrant camp marked for partial demolition.

Crowds at a border camp near the Greek village of Idomeni on the Macedonian border, a main transit point for refugees traveling to western Europe, used a large pole to ram through the border gate, while authorities deployed tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to keep the chanting crowd at bay.

Migrants ram the border fence between Greece and Macedonia at a camp near the village of Greek village of Idomeni.
LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Migrants ram the border fence between Greece and Macedonia at a camp near the village of Greek village of Idomeni.

TV footage showed the migrants running across the border as the gate was forced open.

Dejana Nedeljkovic, chief public relations adviser at the Macedonian Interior Ministry, told CNN that there was an incident at the border where thousands of refugees had tried to enter Macedonia by force and had been stopped. The border had subsequently been closed again.

Antonis Rigas, a field coordinator for Doctors Without Borders in Idomeni, said 23 people suffered light injuries as a result of the clashes, including 10 children. Fifteen suffered from respiratory issues from the tear gas, seven cut themselves on the barbed wire and one person was grazed by a rubber bullet.