Spain: 9 migrants dead, interior minister asked to resign

According to survivors, Guardia Civil fired rubber bullets

07 February, 13:34

    (ANSAmed) - MADRID, FEBRUARY 7 - The Spanish government has been criticized by the opposition after the death Thursday of nine migrants who were trying to get into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in Morocco. The left-wing coalition Izquierda Unida asked Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz to step down while the PSOE called on the minister to urgently address Parliament on the matter.

    The tragedy occurred when a large group of about 250 to 450 migrants from sub-Sahara, according to police sources, tried to cross the border with Ceuta from the beach of Tarajal by storming the 200-meter-long border cliff dividing the two countries.

    At least nine migrants - eight men and one woman - drowned.

    The official version of the incident provided by the delegation of the Ceuta government is that the Guardia Civil did not intervene while Moroccan police cracked down on the assault.

    But various survivors were quoted by the media as saying that Spanish police 'fired rubber bullets' and 'tear gas' while migrants were in the water, causing panic and ultimately the casualties.

    After the reports, the delegate of Ceuta's government, Francisco Antonio Gonzales, confirmed in statements to the media the use of anti-riot devices to stop the migrants who, according to the official version, threw stones and other objects against security forces.

    Gonzales claimed that the rubber bullets and tear gas were aimed at dissuading the migrants and were used before they dived into the sea and not directly aimed at them. (ANSAmed).

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