Thursday, August 17

Nearly 70 People Cross Border Into Spanish Enclave

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Reuters
US News & World Reports
by Raquel Castillo

Around 70 sub-Saharan African migrants crossed the razor-wire-topped fence separating northern Morocco from the Spanish enclave of Ceuta on Tuesday, leaving 14 people hospitalised, the Red Cross said.

Local police said 200 people rushed the border in a bid to reach Europe. Around 60 managed to enter the territory and were attended by the Red Cross.

Migrants frequently jump or cut through the fences of Spain’s two enclaves in northern Africa, Ceuta and Melilla, or attempt to reach them by swimming along the Moroccan coastlines.

The number of migrants entering Spain via Ceuta and Melilla more than doubled in the first six months of the year from the same period last year to 3,200 people, according to Spain’s Interior Ministry.

Once within the enclaves, migrants are either returned to their country of origin or moved to the Spanish mainland, which many use as a jumping-off point for the rest of Europe.

The migrants used wire cutters to breach a gate, according to a spokesman from the Ceuta government. Between 1,000 and 1,500 people are camping out in the scrub and woods around the enclave waiting for the opportunity to rush the border, he said.

The last major push in to one of the enclaves was in May when some 300 migrants attempted to jump the fence in Melilla. Around 100 successfully crossed the border.

(Corrects to show 70 people crossed border, not injured)

(Reporting by Raquel Castillo; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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