Skip to main content

Hundreds of migrants enter Spain from Morocco, say officials

Ceuta and Melilla, Spanish territory in North Africa, have the European Union's only land borders with Africa

Migrants sit on the ground in El Tarajal, Ceuta, close to the boarder with Morocco on 9 December 2016 (AFP)

Hundreds of migrants stormed into Spain's North African territory of Ceuta from Morocco early Friday, the emergency services and police said, adding that some were injured in the process.

"The Civil Guard at Ceuta estimates that 500 people could have succeeded in entering the town," the emergency services said on Twitter. 

The Civil Guard, or paramilitary police, meanwhile told AFP that "several hundred" crossed over and many of them were hurt, as were members of the security forces.

The last such attempt took place on New Year's Day when more than 1,000 migrants tried to jump a high double fence between Morocco and Ceuta in a violent assault that saw one officer lose an eye.

The emergency services said on Twitter that the Spanish Red Cross extended assistance to some 400 people.

Ceuta and Melilla, another Spanish territory in North Africa, have the European Union's only land borders with Africa.

They are entry points for African migrants seeking a better life in Europe, who get there by climbing the border fence, swimming along the coast or by hiding in vehicles.

The enclave has been ringed by a double wire fence that is eight kilometres (five miles) long. The six-metre (20-foot) high fence also has rolls of barbed wire.

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.