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"It was a real storm of excrement, blood, quicklime and acid"

Immigrants celebrate entering Spain on Wednesday via the land frontier around Ceuta.
Immigrants celebrate entering Spain on Wednesday via the land frontier around Ceuta. / EFE
  • Seven police were injured in a violent coordinated assault on Spain's border fence in Ceuta, north Africa, that saw 116 illegal immigrants enter

Spain's land border with Morocco, around the city of Ceuta on the North African coast, saw one of the biggest recent illegal entries by migrants by land on Wednesday.

Some 300 mostly sub-Saharan Africans tried to cross into the territory during a coordinated attack on border guards, with 116 succeeding.

According to eyewitnesses and border security forces, shortly after Moroccan guards relaxed their patrols for prayers on what was a Muslim festival day in both Morocco and Ceuta itself, the organised action began. Wirecutters were used to open holes in the triple fence and officers on the Spanish side were subjected to bombardments of stones, bags of quicklime, bags of car battery acid, balls of human faeces and jars of human blood. Guards on the Moroccan side were also injured.

The 116 who crossed into Spain were taken to the city's immigrant reception centre, but were deported on Thursday. The centre is still struggling to cope with the biggest illegal entry so far this year, on 26 July, when 602 immigrants crossed.

The union for the Guardia Civil, responsible for patrolling the border, have called for police to get more resources, including shields, and to be allowed to use riot equipment. The government commended the guards' action on Wednesday and said it was working to solve the problem with African countries.