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Thursday, 6 June, 2002, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
Asylum seeker shot dead near Sangatte
Sangatte refugees
Tensions in the camp have worsened dangerously
An asylum seeker has been shot dead during a fight near the Sangatte Red Cross refugee centre in northern France, the second man to be killed in the area in two months.

The fight, which involved about 40 asylum seekers, took place in an industrial zone on the outskirts of the port of Calais, a staging post for many immigrants trying to get to the UK.

The man, reported to be Kurdish, was shot in the head. Another Kurd had died in April after being stabbed inside the camp.

Correspondents say the incident reflects the growing tension at the severely overcrowded Red Cross camp, home to 1,500 asylum seekers - mainly Afghans and Kurds.

Sangatte's future

France's interim centre-right government has said its objective is ultimately to close down Sangatte, which has been a thorn in the side of Franco-British relations for two years now.

But without a broader agreement on European immigration policy, it remains a far-off prospect.

The camp was set up in the first place to provide shelter to the immigrants who were living rough in Calais, many waiting for the chance to get to the UK.

Closing the Sangatte camp would simply mean their return to the streets and parks of the town, critics of the closure argue.

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The BBC's Hugh Schofield
"We know that Kurds and Afghans there have been at daggers drawn over the past few weeks"

Talking PointTALKING POINT
Sangatte
Is closing the camp the solution?

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23 May 02 | UK Politics
23 May 02 | UK Politics
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