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

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid