Riot police have been called in to break up running battles as over 300 East African migrants have been brawling with knives, rocks and iron bars, trying to win the right to smuggle themselves to the UK illegally. Local sources suggest the feuding gangs originate from Eritrea and Somalia and are scuffling over territory and the change to sneak themselves onto lorries and cargo bound for Britain.

Gangs of would-be illegal immigrants are scuffling over territory and UK entry possibilities

Gangs of would-be illegal immigrants are scuffling over territory and UK entry possibilities

One man was hit in the head with a shot from an air rifled and was airlifted to hospital for emergency treatment. Three other rioters were seriously injured and many other received minor wounds and injuries.

Riot police first intervened to break up a fight at a food distribution centre, close to the port of Calais, on Monday evening. The violent rampage continued throughout the night, spilling into Tuesday, and continuing the fighting that first started on Sunday.

One police officer involved in trying to calm the fighting said: “It was the second night of violence. Hundreds were involved in a mass brawl overnight and riot control officers were brought in from the surrounding area.”

The port of Calais is surrounded by refugees, with at lease 650 people living in ramshackle camps as they wait to make their attempt to cross the Channel and enter the UK illegally.