On Friday morning, more than 150 illegal migrants managed to break through the border fence which divides Morroco from Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta, El País reports.
Official sources say that the number of illegal migrants who attempted to scale the fence and cross over into Spanish territory was even higher, but only about 150 were able to make it past the double fence, which stands six meters tall plus barbed wire, and is 8.4 kilometers long,
According to the Spanish newspaper which cites figures from the national health authorities, at least 11 Civil Guard officers were injured during the incident, while dozens of illegal migrants were hurt while trying to hop over the barbed wire.
The migrant’s rush over the fences “was conducted in a violent manner, with hand-to-hand confrontations [with officers] and using hooks, sticks, and acid,” the Civil Guard union AUGC said in a statement.
“This latest organized assault newly evidences the need for technical and human reinforcements in border cities, as AUGC has been demanding for years,” the statement continued.
Spain’s Europa Press news agency reported that the incident happened at 7:20 am local time close to the breakwater of the town of Benzu, precisely where the border fence terminates.
Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta in northern Africa – separated from mainland Spain by the Strait of Gibraltar – are common points of transit for African migrants looking to claim asylum EU.
In August of 2018, a similar but larger incident occurred in the same area which saw a group of 850 migrants break through the fence. Of that 850, about 602 made it to Spanish territory. Migrants employed sticks, sharp objects, makeshift blow torches, and quicklime to get past the officers. 32 guards were injured as a result of the violent border crossing.