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Charity groups ask court to halt Calais migrant camp closure in France

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Several charity organisations have asked a court in France to halt the imminent closure of the notorious "Jungle" migrant camp where thousands of refugees live in the port city of Calais, many of them desperate to get across the sea to Britain.

[PARIS] Several charity organisations have asked a court in France to halt the imminent closure of the notorious "Jungle" migrant camp where thousands of refugees live in the port city of Calais, many of them desperate to get across the sea to Britain.

The organisations lodged their request at a court in Lille on Wednesday evening, according to an official in the region. A judicial source said an emergency ruling should be delivered within 48 hours.

President Francois Hollande announced in late September that the camp, where the number of inhabitants was at one stage estimated at close to 10,000, would be shut down.

His Socialist government has already started moving groups of refugees to new locations throughout the country ahead of a final phase in which the camp will be demolished.

People involved in helping the camp dwellers spoke this week of a demolition date as early as Oct 17.

Many of the people at the camp have fled war, persecution or poverty in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Sudan and Eritrea.

REUTERS