Several hundred African migrants stormed a border fence on Sunday as they tried to enter Spain from Morocco.
According to Reuters and Spanish and Moroccan authorities, the 800-plus migrants from Spain’s North African section of Ceuta were thwarted and turned back, but not before several of them managed to get to the top of the tall barbed wire fence.
The Spanish government said, “1,100 tried crossing and five Spanish police and 50 from Morocco were injured after migrants used rocks and metal bars to try and break through gates to access the fence and clashed with authorities.”
Morocco’s interior ministry report differed in the number of migrants, reporting that “800 migrants had tried to storm the enclave and that all had been arrested.” The report said 10 members of its security forces were seriously wounded.
The Morrocan ministry issued this statement: “From now on, those making such attempts will be presented before the competent judicial authorities who will decree their expulsion from the kingdom (of Morocco) or heavier penalties, according to the gravity of the act.”
Spain’s two enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, are often used as entry points into Europe for African migrants, who either climb over their border fences or try to swim along the coast.
Back in December, according to Reuters, “more than 400 sub-Saharan African migrants managed to force their way over the Ceuta border fence.”
According to the International Organization for Migration, “2016 turned out to be the deadliest year ever for migrants in the Mediterranean, with almost 5,000 deaths.”
In a separate incident on Sunday, Spanish police said, “A Moroccan woman was arrested in Ceuta last week for trying to smuggle a 19-year-old migrant from Gabon across the border with Spain curled up inside a suitcase.”
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