News / Africa

Morocco Says Hundreds of Migrants Stormed Border of Spanish Enclave

Would-be immigrants react from behind the fence of a temporary immigrant holding center after crossing the border from Morocco to Spain's north African enclave of Melilla March 18, 2014.
Would-be immigrants react from behind the fence of a temporary immigrant holding center after crossing the border from Morocco to Spain's north African enclave of Melilla March 18, 2014.
Reuters
Hundreds of migrants tried to force their way into Spain's North African enclave of Melilla in two attempted mass crossings during the night on Tuesday, throwing stones at police who tried to stop them, the Moroccan government said.

Nearly 300 were arrested and at least 28 were injured in the two attempts, the Moroccan Interior Ministry said. The last such mass crossing of Melilla's heavily protected border took place in late February.

Spain has two enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, and migrants from all over Africa regularly try to reach them either by swimming along the coast or climbing the triple walls that separate them from Morocco. Deaths and injuries are common.

Earlier in February the European Union asked Spain to explain why police fired rubber bullets in warning when a group of African migrants tried to wade and swim to Ceuta. Fourteen men died when the shots caused panic among the immigrants.

“At 7 am, 600 illegal migrants tried to force the crossing to the occupied enclave of Melilla at Oued Tighorafine point, in the rural area of Beni Chiguer,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The area of Beni Chiguer is covered in shrubbery which migrants use to hide beneath in the daytime before making their attempted crossing by night.

Migrants ignored warnings of security forces on the scene and injured five police officers by throwing stones, the ministry said. About 120 migrants were arrested, including 28 who were injured and hospitalized in the city of Nador, it added.

A source from the interior ministry declined to say how many had managed to enter the Spanish enclave.

Earlier in the night another group of migrants tried to storm the triple fence surrounding Melilla and 150 were arrested, the statement added.

More and more migrants are trying to get to Ceuta and Melilla in a bid to reach Spain, preferring to go by land rather than by sea, where controls have increased.

Many are still trying to enter Europe by sea, however. Last month, the Italian navy rescued more than 1,100 migrants from nine rafts in the waters south of Sicily.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid