500 migrants storm Melilla frontier's weak point

29th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

5 October 2005, MELILLA — At least 500 migrants launched a mass assault to break through the frontier border at Melilla.

5 October 2005

MELILLA — At least 500 migrants launched a mass assault to break through the frontier border at Melilla.

It is thought about 100 broke through and were arrested by police inside Spain's North African enclave.

Thirteen suffered various minor injuries in the overnight assault. Two Guardia Civil officers were also hurt.

The latest mass assault on the border defences came at Pinares de Rostrogordo, a point where the fence has not been strengthened.

It came a day after authorities in Melilla announced they are to build a third fence to try to stop repeated mass assaults by migrants from Morocco.

At present there are two 6m-high razor-wire fences, but they have not stopped hundreds of migrants breaking through.

On Monday night, hundreds stormed the frontier in a fresh attempt to reach Europe.

In what was the ninth mass assault of the past three months, a group of about 650 would-be immigrants sought to force their way onto European Union soil.

It is estimated that at least 350 reached their goal, while some 100 were detained by Moroccan security forces.

More than 100 migrants and seven members of Spain's Civil Guard - which has reinforced its presence along the 11-kilometre (7-mile) razor-wire fence to thwart the continuous waves of border rushes - were injured in the pre-dawn assault.

A delegation from European Commission is to visit Melilla to study the situation.

The latest breach of security at Melilla came after Spain and Morocco launched an inquiry to try to establish how five people were killed during a mass attempt by migrants to get into the neighbouring Spanish North African enclave of Ceuta last week.

The five who died last Wednesday night all had signs of bullet holes in their bodies, according to post-mortems.

But the Spanish Guardia Civil and the Moroccan Gendarmerie have both denied they opened fire on hundreds of migrants who tried to storm the borders at Ceuta.

Officials in Ceuta said the migrants were crushed to death as hundreds tried to cross the border fence from Morocco, the BBC reported.

The Spanish government took the unprecedented step of sending in 480 soldiers to try and bring the situation under control.

Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and his Moroccan counterpart Driss Jettou held crisis talks in Seville on Thursday.

More than 40 people, including policemen, have been injured in recent mass assaults. Three other would-be immigrants have died since August.

Over the last few weeks would-be immigrants have been using ladders and what Spanish officials have described as military tactics in their increasingly desperate attempts to get over border barriers, our correspondent says.

Morocco and Spain are geographically so close that Africans pour into Morocco from all over the continent in an attempt to enter the EU.

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Subject: Spanish news

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