1,000 migrants trying to get into Melilla pushed back

Sub-Saharans wanted to enter Spanish enclave in Morocco

19 December, 10:38

    Over 1,000 immigrants tried to get into the Spanish enclave in Morocco Over 1,000 immigrants tried to get into the Spanish enclave in Morocco

    (by Paola Del Vecchio)

    (ANSAmed) - MADRID - About one thousand migrants of Sub-Saharan origins tried but failed to get over a six-meter tall border fence that separates Morocco from the Spanish-held north African territory of Melilla on Tuesday night. Spanish and Moroccan security forces pushed the migrants walking in a single-file line back, with the Moroccan ones - according to sources from the government delegation of the autonomous city - making use of a helicopter to disperse the migrants and stop them from approaching the double-layer border barrier. Around 11:30pm, Guardia Civil officers sighted the massive group of migrants coming down from Mount Gurugù, in Moroccan territory, where hundreds are camped out to await a suitable moment to try to climb over the high border fence.
    In two parallel, single-file lines (a method they had employed in a previous attempt to charge the fence on November 20) the migrants headed calmly towards the double barrier fence - forcing officers to split into two groups - to exploit the element of surprise and to increase their chances of getting past the surveillance and climbing over the fence. Nevertheless, they were dispersed by Moroccan and Spanish security forces before managing to reach it. Around 3am, the two lines of migrants went back further inland into Morocco. Since late November the government delegation has been speaking out against the ''extreme migratory pressure'' along the Melilla border and has raised the level of alert, especially in light of the approaching holiday season, when attempts to get over the barrier increase - as they do for the Muslim festivities as well, which are celebrated every year in the Spanish enclave. Government delegate, Abdelmalik El Barkani, has reiterated the need to bolster anti-intrusion measures along the border, including controversial razor blades spread out along the barbed-wire fence. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has meanwhile announced that 2013 was a very bad year for migrants seeking better living conditions in other countries. At least 2,600 lost their lives, many of whom died ''nameless in the desert, ocean, or other incidents'', said the IOM in a press release. (ANSAmed).

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