A camp containing nearly 500 illegal migrants was cleared by French authorities who say they discovered squalid sanitary conditions and a rat infestation.
The illegal encampment consisted of some 266 shelters and tents erected along a canal in north Paris.
Officials say the area was "strewn with waste and refuse, overrun by rats and giving off a pestilent and foul-smelling odor of urine and excrement," according to French media.
A total of 427 migrants were moved from the camp, only four of whom have been identified as women.
“The operation of evacuation and sheltering of the occupants of the camps irregularly installed in the north of Paris at the entrance of La Villette has started,” French police tweeted.
#Paris19 | Intervention de @prefpolice. L’opération d’évacuation et de mise à l’abri des occupants des campements irrégulièrement installés dans le nord de Paris à la porte #LaVillette a débuté. pic.twitter.com/nabClaAM4j— Préfecture de Police (@prefpolice) February 4, 2020
“Sheltering operation in progress at the entrance of La Villette,” police wrote, including a photo of the camp site. “The police, state agents and associative actors are fully mobilized for its smooth running and the care of people in this sector.”
#Paris19 | Opération de mise à l'abri en cours à la porte de #LaVillette. Les policiers, agents de l’État et acteurs associatifs sont pleinement mobilisés pour son bon déroulement et la pris en charge des personnes sur ce secteur. pic.twitter.com/8kiZqeVXWx— Préfecture de Police (@prefpolice) February 4, 2020
“End of the evacuation operation at the entrance of the Villette camps that jeopardized the health of the premises and the safety of people, both occupants and residents,” police wrote in conclusion.
#Paris19 | Fin de l'opération d'évacuation à la porte de la #Villette des campements qui mettaient en péril la salubrité des lieux et la sécurité des personnes, tant des occupants que des riverains. pic.twitter.com/OCNf4vBdus— Préfecture de Police (@prefpolice) February 4, 2020
It is the final major squatter site in the northeast of Paris to be razed as part of an organized campaign.
Police cleared over 1,400 migrants from a larger camp in Paris last week.
"Interior Minister Christophe Castaner had promised to clear all migrant camps from the city by the end of last year, in part by opening more shelters for asylum seekers but also by deporting those whose claims are rejected," AFP reports.
Increased police patrols will reportedly work to prevent migrants from setting up new camps in the area.
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(PHOTO: Jerome Gilles/NurPhoto via Getty Images)Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst