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Inside the Seaside Town Where Migrants Fire Kalashnikov Rifles, Keeping Terrified Locals Awake

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The peaceful seaside town of Grande-Synthe is currently experiencing a sense of unease due to the sound of gunshots from migrants that is causing fear among residents. This report provides an exclusive insight into the lives of locals who are forced to live in a community that has been scarred by insecurity.

Bernard Mikolajek is taking care of his vehicle under the mid-afternoon sunlight in the car park of Grande-Synthe’s only shopping center, which is just 300 meters away from his home. His wife, Beatrice, is with him wearing an unseasonal floral blouse, and they express their growing concerns. Through a translator, the 70-year-old shares that the media is not reporting that people are hearing more and more gunfire in the area.

Bernard switches from French to his native language and says, “Not just single shots, but automatic fire. It’s like the Kalashnikov, perhaps.” The source of these ominous sounds is most likely coming from the other side of the Canal de Bourbourg, a narrow waterway situated about 2 kilometers west of the suburb, on the outskirts of Dunkirk. Bernard explains that the canal serves as a “barrier” between the 20,000 inhabitants of Grande-Synthe and the collection of migrant camps beyond.

On September 15, 2023, the Express reported that a pensioner, who is a descendant of Polish immigrants, commented on the situation in Grande-Synthe. Despite the alarming gunfire and daily procession of mainly young men from the tented settlements across the water, he notes that the situation was worse when the refugee camp was inside the town.

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The fact that a lawless pop-up suburb of unidentified travelers is considered an improvement highlights the mismanagement of Grande-Synthe’s refugee crisis. This sentiment is shared by Guy, a 63-year-old Normandy native who now resides in Grande-Synthe. As a former physical education teacher, he recalls hearing gunshots while doing sports around the lake, near the Decathlon.

These accounts reveal the daily struggles of Grande-Synthe’s residents who live in fear as the sound of gunfire disrupts their lives. With growing safety concerns, children are not allowed to play outside, and the community remains on edge, hoping for a solution to this persistent crisis. As Grande-Synthe navigates through these turbulent times, its residents can only hope for a return to the peaceful coastal life they once knew.

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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