Border Fence into Spain Has Been Smash Through by nearly 500 Migrants

Border Fence into Spain Has Been Smash Through by nearly 500 Migrants

Border Fence into Spain Has Been Smash Through by nearly 500 Migrants

Nearly 500 migrants forced their way into Spanish territory in North Africa early Friday by breaking through gates in the 20-foot (6-meter) high fence that separates Morocco from Spain's Ceuta enclave.

A spokeswoman for the Red Cross in Ceuta, the Spanish enclave on the Moroccan coast, said that 11 of the Sub-Saharan African migrants were sent to a hospital to be treated for cuts, bone fractures and other injuries. The six-metre high fence also has rolls of barbed wire. They used tools and clubs to break upon the gate but were quickly met by Spain's Civil Guard, or paramilitary police. Before the latest arrival, the migrant centre at Ceuta was already struggling to cope with more than 600 people and using military tents in nearby auto parks.

What will happen to them now?

The migrants must now wait to be transferred to mainland Spain to have their papers processed.

On Friday, 55 of them were rejected, according to the Civil Guard, because those who are intercepted on the spot can be returned to Morocco.

Spain's two North African enclaves are often the focus of attempted illegal border crossings. Cueta is separated from the rest of Spain in Northern Africa by the Strait of Gibralter. However, Frontex, the European border service, said that only 1,000 people had breached Ceuta and Melilla in 2016 - the lowest number in several years.

The young migrants climbed over the high border fence into the Spanish North African territory, ecstatic to have finally crossed into a European Union state. However, most were turned back.

More than 1,400 migrants were awaiting processing at the 512-capacity Temporary Immigrant Shelter Center in Ceuta on Monday, authorities said, adding that tents had been requested to house the latest arrivals in the parking lot of a nearby equestrian center.

Related news