Some of the immigrants entering the city. / R.C.

More than 2,500 immigrants try to scale the border fence in Spain’s Melilla

At least 500 sub-Saharans have managed to enter the city in the biggest attempt of the last eight years

MELCHOR SAIZ-PARDO Madrid

More than 2,000 sub-Saharan immigrants tried this Wednesday morning, 2 March, to scale the border fence in the Spanish autonomous city of Melilla. It is the largest mass attempt to cross the border from Morocco recorded in the city since 2014. According to Guardia Civil sources, it began shortly before 9.30 am and happened simultaneously at different points of the border fence.

At least 500 immigrants are reported to have entered the city, according to the first estimates of the Government Delegation. Most of the immigrants who managed to scale the fence are already at the gates of the Temporary Immigrant Stay Centre (CETI). According to eyewitnesses, many had cuts and bruises caused by climbing the border fence, but also eye irritations, supposedly caused by the use of gases by the Moroccan forces, who on this occasion tried to stop the massive exodus.

Violence

Practically all of the immigrants who managed to reach Spanish territory did so in just 10 minutes in an assault on some of the weakest points of the fence located between the border crossings of Farhana and Barrio Chino, in an area known as Villa Pilar.

The Guardia Civil, with the help of the National Police and Local Police officers, carried out several 'hot returns' of immigrants who had been trapped in the fence.

The Government Delegation highlighted the violence used by immigrants who used hooks, sticks and screws on their shoes during the mass attempt to scale the border fence and threw rocks at the Moroccan forces to avoid being intercepted before reaching the fence.

Injured

Three Guardia Civil officers are reported to have been slightly injured and three Sub-Saharans have been treated for minor injuries at the foot of the fence.

You have to go back to May 28, 2014 to find an attempt to scale the border to this Wednesday. On that day, 500 immigrants managed to cross the fence in an action that caused serious damage to the border infrastructure.