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CALAIS, France — Lines of migrants with their lives in small bags walked to a registration center in the French port city of Calais Monday, the first day of the mass evacuation and destruction of the filthy camp they called home. French authorities are beginning a complex operation, unprecedented in Europe, to shut down the makeshift camp, uprooting thousands who made treacherous journeys to escape wars, dictators or grinding poverty and dreamed of making a life in Britain. Officials were expected to begin dismantling hundreds of tents and shelters as their occupants depart, gradually closing down the camp that sprung up behind an official shelter housing women and providing showers and daily meals.

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