Harold Heckle and Fernando Garcia, Yahoo! News, May 1, 2014
Around 700 African migrants charged Spain’s barbed-wire border fences Thursday in the country’s North African enclave of Melilla, clashing with Spanish and Moroccan border police.
Spain said 140 of the migrants managed to enter Spanish territory despite the efforts of the border police.
It was the latest surge in the tide of African immigrants trying to cross into Europe. Spain’s two North African enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta are particularly vulnerable and have had repeated attacks by hundreds of immigrants this spring.
By afternoon, more than 150 people remained perched on an outside border fence, fending off police by setting fire to clothing and throwing it at them, Spanish officials said. Some even swung batons wrenched away from officers.
Police used pepper spray to try to force migrants down from the 20-foot (6-meter) -high fence, but some climbed onto the lamp posts used to illuminate the border.
The Interior Ministry statement said some migrants were treated by Red Cross staff and five were taken to the hospital. It later said 12 police were injured.