MADRID (AP) — More than 80 migrants have managed to scale the double frontier fence to enter Spain’s North African city enclave of Melilla from Morocco.
Some 150 people from sub-Saharan countries attempted the crossing at 7.30 a.m. Tuesday but police stopped many from entering the territory, the Spanish news agency Efe and other media outlets said.
Of the 87 who made it, nine were taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries suffered in the crossing while the rest were taken to the city’s temporary migrant accommodation center while authorities study whether they can be deported. Most are normally released and ordered to leave Spain.
Comment from government offices in Melilla was not immediately possible.
Melilla and nearby Ceuta are two tiny Spanish coastal territories in northern Africa separated from Morocco by tall wire fences that are constantly monitored by police.
Efe said the crossing attempt was the biggest since last August when some 300 people tried but only 30 got across.
Separately, the Interior Ministry reported this week that migrant arrivals to Spain’s Canary Islands, one of the principal migrant routes from Africa, were up by more than 230% to 1,069 in the first two weeks of the year.
More than 23,000 people reached the islands by boat from Africa last year.
Some 2,250 people entered Ceuta and Melilla in 2020, according to ministry figures.