500 African Migrants Cross into Spain

Over 2,500 migrants attempted to scale the fence that separates Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla from Morocco on Wednesday, and about 500 succeeded, officials said.

Melilla’s central government said the migrants had hooks, sticks, and screws, and threw stones at security forces as they tried to stop them from climbing the six-metre (20-foot) fence.

The central government said 16 police officers and 20 migrants were treated for minor injuries.

“The great violence used by the migrants … overwhelmed the Moroccan security forces who were trying to prevent them from reaching the fence,” it said.

Claimed by Morocco, Malilla and Ceuta, two Spanish enclaves on Africa’s northern coast, are frequently used by illegal African migrants trying to enter Europe.

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Rabat and Madrid have long been at odds over the cities’ diplomatic relations, with Madrid insisting that both are integral parts of Spain.

More than 10,000 people swam or used inflatable boats to cross into Ceuta territory in mid-May 2021, as Moroccan border forces looked the other way.

The influx of migrants took place as a result of a diplomatic crisis between Madrid and Rabat over the independence of Western Sahara.

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