(Associated Press)Mysterious armed groups are on the prowl, targeting migrants in night attacks in Calais and elsewhere in northern France, sowing fear among the displaced travelers living in squalid slums and deepening concerns the city is becoming a tinderbox of anti-migrant, anti-Muslim rage that's fueling a budding nationalist movement.
The stalkers, sometimes masked, slip through the night armed with clubs, brass knuckles, pepper spray or knives, according to accounts by migrants and groups working to provide medical and legal help.
After months of what appear to be organized attacks, police made their first arrests Thursday, taking seven men armed with iron bars and extendable batons into custody for a suspected attack on five Iraqi Kurds at Loon-Plage, a port town between Calais and nearby Dunkirk. The seven faced charges of violence in a group and forming a group to commit violence, said Dunkirk prosecutor Eric Fouard. Some of the men, aged 24-47, said they sympathized with extreme-right movements in Calais identified as xenophobic, he said.
Advertisement - story continues below