Greater than 230 migrants crossed the Moroccan border into Spain’s Melilla enclave earlier than daybreak on Thursday, in one of many largest influxes into this tiny North African territory lately.
The incident occurred two months after an unprecedented 10,000 folks surged into Spain’s other enclave of Ceuta, exacerbating a diplomatic disaster between Madrid and Rabat.
In an announcement, the Spanish authorities delegation in Melilla stated “an enormous inflow” of greater than 300 migrants had tried to cross the frontier at 6:50 am with 238 of them efficiently scaling the fence, all of them males.
It stated they used “hooks” to scale the frontier which they managed to do regardless of the actual fact the border fence was outfitted with “anti-intrusion” measures, with out specifying what they have been.
Three Guardia Civil cops suffered “slight accidents” from the hooks utilized by these crossing the fence, it stated.
The migrants have been taken to a reception centre the place they are going to be quarantined according to anti-Covid security procedures.
Since mid-Could, a whole lot of migrants have tried to hurry the Moroccan border fence into Melilla, with almost 300 of them making it throughout.
Thursday’s incident raised that quantity to greater than 500 in simply over two months.
The place Europe meets Africa
Spain‘s two tiny enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla have Europe’s solely land border with Africa, making them a magnet for migrants determined to flee grinding poverty and starvation.
Through the years, 1000’s of migrants have tried to cross the 12-kilometre (7.5-mile) border between Melilla and Morocco, or Ceuta’s eight-kilometre border, by climbing the fences, swimming alongside the coast or hiding in autos.
The 2 territories are protected by fences fortified with barbed wire, video cameras and watchtowers.
Claimed by Morocco, the 2 cities have lengthy been a flashpoint in diplomatic relations between Rabat and Madrid, which insists each are integral elements of Spain.
In mid-Could, Spain was caught off guard when greater than 10,000 folks swam or used small inflatable boats to cross into Ceuta territory as the Moroccan border forces looked the other way.
Though most have been rapidly sent back, there have been nonetheless greater than 2,000 left contained in the enclave, amongst them 1,185 unaccompanied minors, a spokesman for the federal government delegation in Ceuta instructed AFP on Thursday.
The inflow passed off throughout a diplomatic disaster between Madrid and Rabat over Western Sahara, which has lengthy pushed for independence from Morocco.
Madrid had angered Morocco by permitting the chief of Western Sahara’s independence motion into Spain for hospital therapy for a extreme case of Covid-19, sparking a tetchy standoff between the 2 nations.
The unprecedented border breach was broadly seen as a punitive transfer by Rabat.
Though Polisario Front chief Brahim Ghali left Spain on June 2, diplomatic relations have remained tense.