French police shoot migrants with rubber bullets to stop them crossing channel

French police have shot migrants with rubber bullets to stop them crossing the Channel to the UK.

An investigation by French national police authorities was under way last night into the first known case of gun tactics to halt a migrant boat launch.

It marks a major escalation of tension on the beaches as night patrols struggle to control the armada of boats heading for Britain.

Two migrants hit by the bullets were taken to hospital, one with a fractured leg and the other with a broken hand.

Those on the boat claim that the police laughed at them as the injured migrants fell to the ground.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has threatened to withhold £54million in payments by Britain to the French government for beach patrols in northern France if officials do not reduce the stream of migrant boats.

This year more than 17,000 migrants of multiple nationalities have reached the UK after making the 21-mile Channel crossing.