Hundreds of migrants try to storm Spain's enclave of Ceuta
- Author: Megan Austin Jan 03, 2017,
Jan 03, 2017, 1:40
About 1,100 African migrants attempted to storm a border fence from Morocco to reach Spain's Ceuta enclave, an incident in which 55 border guards were injured, the media reported on Monday.
More than 173,000 migrants had entered Europe via Greece by December 29th, and almost 7,000 had made the short crossing from Morocco to Spain.
Five Spanish and 50 Moroccan border guards were injured in the mayhem, which included migrants throwing rocks and metal bars to try to break down the fence.
Officials said the attempt to cross the border was well organized and violent in nature.
Dozens made it to the top of the fence, but Spanish agents sent them directly back to Morocco.
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"From now on, those making such attempts will be presented before the competent judicial authorities who will decree their expulsion from the kingdom [of Morocco] or heavier penalties, according the gravity of the act", Reuters quoted the ministry as saying in a statement.
Ceuta: A 19-year-old female Moroccan migrant curled up in a suitcase, was caught by the border police as she was trying to get smuggled into Spain.
Earlier this month, in another incident, 400 migrants managed to scale the border fence at Ceuta.
Figures released last week by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) showed that whilst Spain is still a relatively unpopular destination for migrants compared to Greece and Italy, numbers are growing.
The area has been a hotbed of conflict recently as migrants from sub-Saharan Africa have tried to climb over the fence while seeking save havens in Europe. Spain has frequently come under fire from human rights groups for turning migrants away immediately and sending them back into Morocco.