Hundreds of migrants try to enter Spanish enclave

AP News
Posted: Mar 28, 2014 6:55 AM

MADRID (AP) — Some 800 African migrants tried to climb barbed-wire fences to enter the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco on Friday, Spanish officials said. Most were turned back by security forces from both sides.

A statement from the Interior Ministry's office in Melilla said the migrants attempted to scale the fences several times early Friday and at least 10 managed to get across.

The ministry said Moroccan forces kept back more than 1,000 who made similar attempts Thursday.

Thousands of sub-Saharan migrants seeking a better life in Europe are living illegally in Morocco, hoping they can enter Melilla or Spain's other north African coastal enclave, Ceuta, and later make it to the mainland.

Morocco and Spain have stepped up vigilance since Feb. 6 when 15 migrants drowned trying to enter Ceuta.

Those that cross into the enclaves are normally given lodging in centers while authorities, obliged by law, try to identify and repatriate them. Many come without documentation so they cannot be identified and are eventually let go but ordered to leave the country.