The border wall separating the Spanish enclave of Ceuta from Morocco, May 21, 2021 | Photo: Diego Radames / Anadolu Agency
The border wall separating the Spanish enclave of Ceuta from Morocco, May 21, 2021 | Photo: Diego Radames / Anadolu Agency

A group of 119 migrants scaled a fence and crossed the border into the Spanish enclave of Melilla from neighboring Morocco on Monday. They were taken to the city's migrant reception center.

Spanish authorities said that a group of about 200 people from sub-Saharan Africa tried to climb the metal fence separating Morocco from Melilla at around 4:30 a.m. on Monday, July 12.

The Spanish Civil Guard and Moroccan police quickly mobilized but were unable to prevent all of them from breaching the fence. "A total of 119 people got in, all of them men," a spokesperson for the Spanish government's delegation in Melilla said. Five officers from the Civil Guard and one migrant were injured in the operation, he added. 

The 119 migrants were immediately taken to the Temporary Stay Center (CETI), escorted by a large number of police vehilces, and placed in a special area to be tested for COVID-19.

Migrants regularly try to enter Melilla and Ceuta, two Spanish territories in Morocco and the European Union's only land border with Africa. Some people try to swim along the coastline, climb border fences or hide in or under vehicles.

Almost daily attempts

The last major attempted breach of Melilla's border was on June 15, when about 150 people tried to enter the Spanish territory. Police said the migrants threw sticks and threw stones at the police, injuring about 20 people, according to the Spanish news agency, EFE.

Most attempted crossings involve smaller groups of people, a member of CEAR (Spanish Commission for Refugee Assistance) told InfoMigrants French.

However in May, Ceuta was at the heart of a conflict between Madrid and Rabat. Morocco was accused of allowing more than 10,000 migrants to cross into Spain to protest against the hospitalization in Madrid of the leader of the Western Sahara independence movement, Brahim Ghali.

Relations between Madrid and Rabat remain tense, but a Spanish government delegation said Monday that Moroccan security forces had "cooperated actively" in efforts to stop the latest group of migrants from entering Melilla.

Also read: Europe rejects Morocco's 'political' use of migrants against Spain

With AFP, EFE

 

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