MADRID, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Dozens of migrants stormed into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla early on Tuesday, scaling the high, razor-wired fence that separates it from Morocco, local authorities said.
The migrants, all from sub-Saharan Africa and nine of whom sustained injuries that required hospital treatment, were among around 150 who tried to climb over the six-metre (20-ft) fence.
Melilla and Ceuta – a second Spanish enclave also on Africa’s northern coast – are popular crossing points for illegal African migrants trying to get into Europe.
Spain sends many who make it across the fences back to Morocco, and most of those who crossed on Tuesday were sent to a local migrant centre where they will be identified and their situation assessed, authorities said.
Fewer migrants crossed the land border into Ceuta and Melilla last year than in 2019, though overall numbers intercepted crossing into Spain rose 29% to almost 42,000, mainly because of a steep increase in arrivals by sea on the Canary Islands. (Reporting by Emma Pinedo; Editing by Ingrid Melander and John Stonestreet)
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