New “massive assault” of immigrants against Melilla border

On Tuesday one hundred sub-Saharan immigrants launched a “massive assault” against the border fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla, and about 40 were able to enter Spain, according to local authorities.

“About 40 immigrants of sub-Saharan origin were able to enter Melilla this morning, having launched a massive assault against the border fence, which was attended by a group of about 100 immigrants,” said the prefecture of Melilla in a statement.

Immigrants “were hiding in the woods on the Moroccan side” when they launched “a coordinated and massive assault” at 8:20 GMT on Tuesday, she said. Some came into the walls of Melilla airport, where they were caught by officers of the Civil Guard, “without altering the normal activity of our airport,” says the prefecture.

Five civil guards were injured during this operation, “Not seriously in principle,” the statement added.

Groups of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa regularly launch attacks against the border in Melilla, hoping to enter the European territory.

These attempts sometimes lead to incidents involving injury, as on March 11, when fifty migrants from sub-Saharan Africa managed to cross the fence in Melilla. 25 people were injured, including a 30 year old Cameroonian, who died of his wounds on March 18 at a hospital in Morocco, according to the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH).

The prefect of Melilla, Abdelmalek El Barkani, stressed the difficulty in May for the Spanish authorities to respond to the strong migratory pressure at the doors of the enclaves, the flow of illegal immigration from Africa is being moved from the late 2000s, after using the sea route to the Canary Islands, west of Morocco.

“Different circumstances in recent months and in recent years, as the situation in the Sahel and in Arab countries, as well as the fight against illegal immigration across the Atlantic to Spain, changed the flow,” he had explained.

Aufait / AFP

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