Daniel Woolls, AP, November 10, 2008
Border guards repelled two waves totaling about 200 Africans in the fifth and largest such attempt to reach the Spanish city of Melilla from Morocco in less than a month, said Gregorio Escobar, the [Interior] ministry’s top representative in Melilla.
No migrant managed to cross into the Mediterranean city of some 70,000 people.
Moroccan authorities detained most of the 150 Africans who tried to rush a border crossing in a first attempt. Less than an hour later, a group of about 60 turned violent as they tried to force their way across and Spanish authorities used riot gear and tear gas to keep them out, Escobar said.
Two Spanish police were slightly injured and six other officers were treated after inhaling tear gas, he said.
Police have prevented migrants from crossing into Melilla on all the previous attempts over the past weeks except on one occasion when 37 migrants got through. They were later detained on Spanish soil.
Each time, migrants tried to get through a section of border fence damaged in torrential rains in late October. On Monday, however, they targeted a regular border crossing used daily by thousands of people.