More than 500 migrants storm fences in the Spanish enclave of Melilla

by Lorraine Williamson
500 migrants storm Melilla border

MADRID – More than 500 migrants tried to reach Spanish territory Friday morning by storming the fences that line the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla. 133 migrants finally managed to enter Spain. 

These individuals, all-male and of legal age, are now in Melilla’s Temporary Reception Centre for Migrants (CETI). It is the first massive storming of the border since diplomatic relations between Spain and Morocco improved. Something that in turn has led to a crisis between Spain and Algeria. 

See also: Spain takes a turn in its position on Western Sahara 

Injured 

While climbing the border fences, 57 migrants were injured in varying degrees of severity. Consequently, three had to be treated in hospital. 49 Guardia Civil officers were also slightly injured. Four police vehicles were damaged as migrants threw rocks at them. 

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About 2,000 migrants approached the Melilla border at 6.40 am Friday morning. At that moment, the Guardia Civil sounded the alarm to call all units on duty for assistance. “Despite a large number of agents on both the Moroccan and Spanish sides, 1,500 people managed to approach Melilla,” the Guardia Civil said in a statement. 

At around 8.40 am, a group of around 500 migrants managed to break a gate at the border control of Barrio Chino. They entered Melilla through the roof of that post. 

“Large, well-organised and violent group” 

“It was a large, very well-organised and violent group,” said the government delegation, which emphasised that the Moroccan security services had cooperated perfectly to prevent the immigrants from entering. 

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