Five hundred immigrants try to break through borders

27th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

28 September 2005, MELILLA — At least five hundred immigrants tried to break through the border fences around the Spanish enclave of Melilla in North Africa, police sources say.

28 September 2005

MELILLA — At least five hundred immigrants tried to break through the border fences around the Spanish enclave of Melilla in North Africa, police sources say.

Police believe between 100-120 were successful in the latest onslaught overnight on Tuesday-Wednesday. Most were being questioned by police after being arrested later.

Six Guardia Civil officers and 30 immigrants were reported to have been injured in the latest clashes.

It comes after another mass assault the night before when hundreds tried to break through.

Then 18 people - both police and immigrants - were injured.

About 100 people managed to break through into Spanish territory, where they were questioned.

Melilla and nearby Ceuta are seen as stepping stones to Europe by African immigrants. Spain is doubling the height of the fences around Melilla.

Three immigrants have died since August trying to enter Melilla.

Many migrants are caught and many drown while attempting to make the sea crossing to Spain - either across the Mediterranean Sea or to the Canary Islands, over the Atlantic Ocean.

A Guardia Civil spokesman said groups had been trying to cross where the perimeter fencing remains 3m high.

It is at these points where work is being carried out to double the height.

Spanish guards on the borders have responded to the attempted invasions with anti-riot methods.

The Doctors Without Borders (MSF) charity criticised what it called "the violence" used by the Spanish and Moroccan security forces.

In the past week, the Moroccan authorities have arrested more than 1,000 people planning to travel illegally to Europe.

Some 300 were Moroccan, the others from sub-Saharan Africa.

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Subject: Spanish news

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