IMMIGRATION

More than 200 migrants successfully cross the Melilla border

Sub-Saharans given medical attention for cuts on feet and hands

Immigrants celebrate after making it across the border fence into Melilla.Vídeo: Atlas | Photo: G. Guerrero / EFE (atlas)

At least 200 migrants were taken to a temporary shelter in Melilla on Friday after they successfully reached Spanish territory when they stormed a border fence shortly after dawn.

More than 300 would-be immigrants had tried to cross the barrier fence that separates the Spanish exclave with Morocco, according to police sources. It the latest in a series of massive charges that have taken place at the two Spanish cities on the North African coast over the past weeks.

Friday’s incursion took place in a fenced area at the crossing in Arroyo de Beni-Enzar. While security forces dealt with the situation, the central government delegate reported that another group tried to enter through the nearby road crossing, which had to be closed off for a short period.

Firefighters had to rescue one sub-Saharan who climbed the roof of a control tower.

Some of the 200 that made it through were given medical attention after suffering cuts on their feet and hands when they climbed the fence. Most of the migrants said that they came from Cameroon and Guinea. As they were taken to the temporary shelter, some shouted with joy that they successfully reached Spanish territory.

Earlier this month, at least 15 migrants died when they were reportedly crushed in a stampede as they tried to swim around a seawall dividing Ceuta and Morocco. Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz said later at a congressional hearing that Spanish security forces fired rubber bullets to control the crowd of about 500 migrants who made the desperate attempt to reach the autonomous city through on February 6. The ministry later ordered the Civil Guard to cease using rubber bullets.

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