French police clear out camps of Syrian, African migrants in English Channel port city

French police are clearing out makeshift camps in the English Channel port city of Calais housing hundreds of illegal migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and Africa.

Dozens of migrants and activists are gathered nearby one of the camps, some angrily trying to prevent the police from evacuating it.

Police officers checked in tents and under tarps for migrants before sealing off the camps early Wednesday morning.

French media reports say that Calais authorities wanted the camps cleared out because of a scabies epidemic. Officials at the Calais police headquarters and city hall could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning.

Calais is a magnet for migrants from war zones and deeply poor countries who are trying to reach Britain, just across the English Channel.