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Hundreds of migrants stampede Moroccan border fence into Spanish city

Europe
17.02.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Rabat (dpa) - Hundreds of migrants stampeded a six-metre border fence in Morocco on Friday and entered the independent Spanish city of Ceuta, Moroccan authorities said.

Around 1,000 people, the majority of them African nationals of sub-Saharan countries, attempted to storm the two-layer fence earlier in the day. Authorities said they were "violent but very organized" in their efforts at several sites along the fence.

Some 500 people succeeded in entering the Spanish exclave, the Red Cross said, adding that 18 people were taken to hospital.

The fence that separates Ceuta from Moroccan territory is eight kilometres long.

Spain has two exclaves in North Africa, both of which are claimed by Morocco: Ceuta, on the Sea of Gibraltar and Melilla, 250 kilometres to the east. The two Spanish cities are the only borders that Europe shares on land with Africa.

Tens of thousands of Africans and Syrians are waiting near the two areas for an opportunity to enter the European Union.

More than 10,000 people had reached Spain from Morocco last year by the end of September, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Morocco has simultaneously evolved from a migrant transit country to a place where refugees remain in the longer term, with the kingdom launching a campaign in December 2016 to allow migrants to have their status legalized.

 

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