The fight between rival Eritrean and Sudanese gangs was reportedly sparked by an argument over a “strategically located piece of land” – which both sides tried to claim – that “quickly escalated out of control,” an anonymous police source told AFP.
The fight took place near a motorway rest area in Steenvoorde, a northern French town located some 25 miles from the Grande-Synthe migrant camp, which is home to thousands of undocumented migrants.
Britain-bound trucks often stop at the Steenvoorde rest area on their way to the UK.
Migrants were said to have been arguing over a piece of land located a stone’s throw from the parking lot.
The police source said: “A service station employee called us at around 8.45pm to report the fight and police officers clad in riot gear were rushed to the scene.”
But as soon as they saw the police arrive, the migrants ran away into the woods, and there were no arrests, the source added.
The six injured migrants were the only ones who did not manage to escape; they were driven to a nearby hospital at around 11.15pm.
In July, more than 60 migrants were evacuated from a makeshift tent camp in Steenvoorde.
Another tented settlement was dismantled in the same area in November, one month after the infamous Calais ‘Jungle’ camp was demolished by French authorities.