Hundreds of migrants storm across Spanish border at Melilla

Sub-Saharan migrants scale a metallic fence that divides Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla, early in the morning on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)

Sub-Saharan migrants scale a metallic fence that divides Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla, early in the morning on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)

MADRID: Hundreds of people forced their way through razor-wire barriers into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla on Wednesday, highlighting increasing pressure on a rare land-based route into Europe for illegal migrants.

More than 1,000 stormed fences into the enclave at around 0400 GMT and about 400 had managed to breach the border, the Spanish city’s mayor Juan Jose Imbroda said in a radio interview.

Immigrants from all over Africa regularly attempt to cross the fences at Melilla and a second Spanish enclave along the coast, Ceuta. Both are surrounded by Moroccan territory and the Mediterranean sea.

Spain has beefed up security there in recent months as numbers have swelled, in part in response to increased naval patrols that are discouraging attempts to get to Europe by boat.

“There were waves (of people), they were difficult to stop,” Imbroda told Spanish radio. “Moroccan police collaborated quite a bit, but the pressure was great, a chunk of the exterior fence gave way.”

In March about 500 people forced their way across the Melilla border, and around 2,000 have breached the 12-kilometer barriers so far this year, up from just over 1,000 for the whole of 2013.

The immigrants who got into Melilla on Wednesday were heading for the city’s temporary migration center, where they are usually fed and given clothes.

The center is designed to take in 500 people but is already sheltering about 2,000. Some of those processed there make it across to mainland Spain while others are returned to Morocco.

Both Spain and Italy have attempted to persuade their northern European neighbors to bear a greater share of the increasing immigration burden, but talks on an EU-wide solution to the problem have made little progress.

Last October more than 360 people drowned within sight of Lampedusa, an Italian island off Tunisia that has long been a magnet for migrants, and in May a migrant boat sank in the sea between Libya and Southern Sicily, causing at least 14 deaths.

In February, the European Union asked Spain to explain why police had fired rubber bullets in warning when a group of African migrants tried to wade and swim to Ceuta. Fifteen drowned. Spain has said the migrants were not targeted by the shots.

 

 

 



Fire kills 6 typhoon victims in Philippine tent city
Google building car with no steering wheel

Comments

comments

%d bloggers like this:
Powered by : © 2014 Systron Micronix :: Leaders in Web Hosting. All rights reserved

| About Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Disclaimer | Contact Us |