Hundreds of migrants cross Spanish border, clash with police

Hundreds of migrants cross Spanish border, clash with police

MADRID — More than 300 migrants forced their way into Spanish territory in Northern Africa early Friday by breaking through a gate in the fence that separates Morocco from the Ceuta enclave, a spokesman from Spain’s Civil Guard said.

Three Civil Guard agents and two migrants were sent to the hospital for treatment as a result of the clashes at the Tarajal area of the fence, a spokesman said. He declined to disclose his identity in line with internal policy. At least 10 members of the Moroccan armed forces were also injured, he said.

More than 30 migrants were treated at a migrant centre for bone fractures and other injuries. Some were also cut trying to scale the 6 metre (20 foot)-high fence, which is topped with barbed wire, said Clemen Nunez, director of Ceuta’s Red Cross emergency response team.

According to the Civil Guard, a surveillance camera showed around 600 people approaching the fence about 6 a.m. local time (0500 GMT). They used tools and clubs to break one of the gates.

In video filmed by Faro TV Ceuta, some of the migrants can be seen with blood on their faces and bruises but mostly celebrating the arrival in Spanish territory. Some wrapped themselves with Spanish and European flags and screamed “Freedom, freedom!”

Hundreds of sub-Saharan African migrants living illegally in Morocco regularly attempt to enter Ceuta and Melilla, Spain’s other North African enclave, in hope of getting into Europe. Most are fleeing poverty, violence or both.

On Friday, 55 of them were rejected, according to the Civil Guard, because those who are intercepted on the spot can be returned to Morocco. But those that make it over the fences are usually taken to migrant centres and eventually repatriated or let go, many choosing to seek asylum or work informally in Spain or other European countries. Ceuta is separated from the rest of Spain by the Strait of Gibraltar.

Before the latest arrival, the migrant centre for temporary stay in Ceuta was already struggling to cope with more than 600 people, more than 100 over its maximum capacity, and making use of military tents in nearby parking lots.

Aritz Parra, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Telephone poles placed in centre of sidewalk angers West Kelowna watchdog

Audience Group calls placement of poles in new Boucherie Road upgrade project ‘idiocy’

Kelowna asking public to help update its Cultural Plan

Second survey this year to posted to gather public input about cultural programs and services

Three candidates drop out of Central Okanagan municipal election

Two running for Peachland/OK West trustee and OK East rural director candidate step aside

West Kelowna water warning downgraded

City lowers boil water notice for Lakeview water system to a water quality advisory

Ancestral remains uncovered at Fintry to be reburied

Remains found along Shorts Creek in Fintry Provincial Park during flood remediation measures

Your weekend weather update

Rain continues to move right across the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

Low risk associated with case of pneumococcal disease in the South Okanagan

No identified risk to the public from recent case of pneumococcal disease with associated meningitis

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read