Melilla is one of two autonomous cities of Spain, located in north Africa. It lies on the eastern side of the Cape Three Forks, bordering Morocco and facing the Mediterranean Sea. It is a favourite route into the EU by illegal migrants from Africa.
The Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, has condemned last Friday’s attempted mass crossing from Morocco to the Spanish enclave of Melilla, describing it as an attack on his country’s “territorial integrity” and adding that the Spanish security forces had worked with their Moroccan counterparts to fight off “a well-organized, violent assault.”
The death toll has risen to 23 and the authorities said the individuals died as a result of a “stampede” after about 2,000 people tried to climb the iron fence that separates Morocco and Melilla, with some falling in the attempt.
The Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH), in a series of tweets on Saturday, called for a “comprehensive, quick and serious” investigation into Friday’s events.
A Spanish police source told Reuters the people who tried to cross the fence had used sticks, knives and acid against security forces and had changed tactics to try crossing at one perceived weak spot en masse, rather than in separate attempts along the fence.
Some 133 people made it across the border, while 176 Moroccan security officers and 49 Spanish border guards sustained injuries, authorities say.
British Movement video of the attempted invasion. Contains scenes that may upset any liberal who may have arrived on this site by accident.
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