Political News

The Latest: More than 1,000 migrants deported from 'Jungle'

Posted September 15

— The Latest on Europe's migration crisis (all times local):

9:45 p.m.

France says it has deported more than 1,000 people who were staying in a makeshift migrant camp known as "the Jungle" this year.

The French interior ministry said in a statement Thursday that 1,346 migrants living "illegally" in the camp have been flown out of France aboard 55 collective flights since Jan. 1.

Benjamin Menard, the ministry's press adviser, says the most recent flight left France for Albania on Thursday.

Menard says French and British authorities chartered the plane carrying 20 Albanian migrant.

The camp is located in the northern port town of Calais.

The French government has decided to dismantle "the Jungle," but has not given a date when the overcrowded camp will be closed.

The camp still houses thousands of people, although its population has been cut in half since March.

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8:25 p.m.

A travelling exhibit intended as an artistic response to the global migrant crisis has opened in the capital of Italy, ground zero of the European refugee phenomenon.

Mexican artist Gustavo Aceves spent six years making the sculptures featured in the exhibit that opened Thursday amid the ruins of ancient Rome.

The works consist of misshapen horses, many placed in boat frames, with exposed rib cages full of skulls and sides branded with numbers.

Aceves says the global response to the migrant crisis has been a "disgrace" and that the building of walls by nations trying to keep refugees out "speaks of a clamorous moral and ethical decline."

He said the exhibit, entitled "Lapidarium," is about that decline.

The exhibit will move from Rome to Greece and then Turkey. It is scheduled to end in 2018 in Mexico.

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4:30 p.m.

Serbian authorities say that joint police and army patrols have caught 71 migrants and arrested two people smugglers who transported them in vans and cars.

A police statement said Thursday that a vehicle carrying 50 migrants was stopped near the border with Bulgaria, while 21 were caught farther west. The two drivers were detained.

Serbian officials said Thursday that migrant pressure on the Balkan country's borders has increased in the past two weeks, with more than 7,500 migrants attempting to cross from Bulgaria and Macedonia since mid-July.

Since the Balkan route, used by nearly 1 million migrants last year to cross to mainland Europe, was closed in March, hundreds still try to enter illegally daily in an attempt to reach the EU. An estimated 5,000 migrants are stranded in Serbia.

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3:20 p.m.

The European Union's border agency says the number of migrants arriving in the Greek islands has increased significantly over the last month.

Frontex said in a statement Thursday that 3,430 migrants were "detected" in August, up from 2,030 in July.

The agency said it was the "first noticeable monthly increase" since the EU-Turkey migrant deal came into effect and Macedonia tightened border controls with Greece.

Nationals from Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq accounted for most new arrivals.

The EU-Turkey deal was agreed in March. Under it, the EU would pay up to 6 billion euros ($6.7 billion) to support Syrian refugees, provide visa-free travel for Turkish citizens and accelerate membership talks. In return, Turkey would stop migrants from leaving for Greece and take back thousands more.

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3:00 p.m.

Eight asylum-seekers are taking legal action against Macedonia for expelling them back into Greece after they worked their way across the border.

The migrant advocacy group ProAsyl said it helped the group file a complaint Monday with the Council of Europe's Court of Human Rights.

Karl Kopp of the Frankfurt, Germany-based group did not identify the plaintiffs, but told The Associated Press Thursday the asylum-seekers were from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kopp says they would be entitled financial compensation, if the court rules in their favor.

The March 14 incident occurred along a rugged stretch of the Greek-Macedonian border when hundreds of migrants and refugees who had forced their way across were detained and then expelled.

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10 a.m.

Police say some 100 officers had to get between far-right Germans and asylum-seekers who were fighting in the eastern German town of Bautzen.

Bautzen police spokesman Thomas Knaup said Thursday around 80 Germans and 20 migrants were attacking each other Wednesday night on a market square.

Police had to separate the groups and were attacked with bottles by some of the asylum-seekers.

The far-right protesters were shouting nationalist slogans and followed the asylum-seekers back to their shelter while police tried to keep the groups separated. Later, some of the far-right group threw stones at an ambulance preventing it from getting close to the shelter to attend to an injured migrant.

In February, onlookers celebrated as fire damaged a former hotel that was being turned into a refugee home in Bautzen.

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