Report: Migrant shoots 4 others in melee in north France

PARIS (AP) — Four migrants were shot and wounded today during a confrontation in France's port city of Calais, with an Afghan migrant apparently firing the shots, the French Interior Ministry said.

Afghan and Eritrean migrants in the city, a gateway to Britain, had been fighting with sticks and stones before the shots were fired, regional authorities said.

Police had moved in to try to protect migrants who were being attacked, the ministry said in a statement. The four who were shot were listed in serious condition, while 14 others were slightly injured. The nationalities of the people hurt were not immediately clear.

The prefecture of the Pas-de-Calais had said earlier that two confrontations between Afghan and Eritrean migrants culminated in the gunfire. It is unusual for migrants to carry firearms.

The shootings are the most serious clash in recent times between migrants around Calais. French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb headed to the city for late-night meetings with officials.

Tensions have been high in Calais, where hundreds of migrants hoping to sneak across the English Channel huddle against the cold and police have orders to try to keep them from setting up camp. Some officers, however, have been criticized for overzealous policing.

The Pas-de-Calais prefecture said security forces were trying to protect Afghan migrants during a melee with Eritreans when the injuries happened.

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