Hundreds of migrants storm Morocco-Spain border

Hundreds of migrants storm Morocco-Spain border
Up to 600 migrants scaled the fence into the Spanish territory of Ceuta, with some attacking police officers with quicklime.
2 min read
26 July, 2018
Young African migrants gaze towards Spain's enclave of Ceuta from Fnideq in northern Morocco [Getty]
Hundreds of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa reached Spain on Thursday after storming a double barrier between Morocco and the Spanish territory of Ceuta.

Up to 600 migrants scrambled over the barrier, the biggest breach since February 2017, when more than 850 migrants entered the overseas territory over four days.

It comes as Spain becomes the number one destination for migrants crossing the Mediterranean by boat, surpassing Italy with 19,586 arrivals so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.

A spokesman for the Guardia Civil police force in Ceuta told AFP the migrants managed to climb over the double barrier, which is covered in small blades, early on Thursday morning.

They scrambled over "all of a sudden, with much violence," and some attacked police with quicklime they had in tubes and bottles.

As a result, "more than a dozen police" were injured, four of whom had to go to hospital for burns in the face and arms.

The Spanish Red Cross said in a tweet it was called to check on 592 people who breached the fence.

Isabel Brasero, spokeswoman for the organisation, said they had to attend to 30 migrants with injuries, none serious.

Eleven of them were taken to hospital for stitches and possible fractures, she added.

She said that after they had climbed over the barrier, they ran to the centre that houses migrants once they arrive in Spanish territory.

Ceuta and Melilla, another Spanish territory on Morocco's northern border, have the EU's only land borders with Africa, which is why many migrants try to reach them.