Melilla: 400 storm border fence, 35 get through; Morocco launches anti-migrant sweep near Spain enclave

A Spanish Civil Guard officer (L) throws a sandwich to African migrants sitting at the top of a border fence during an attempt to cross into Spanish territories, between Morocco and Spain’s north African enclave of Melilla on Tuesday. Jesus Blasco de Avellaneda/Reuters

A group of 35 sub-Saharan migrants were able to cross the border into Melilla, a Spanish enclave in Morocco, at dawn on Tuesday after repeated attempts overnight to storm the barrier at the border by an estimated 400 migrants.

According to local security sources, the migrants that were able to enter have reached the local migrant holding center (Ceti) in the autonomous city, while 20 other sub-Saharans have been clinging for hours to the barrier at the border, in the area of Barrio Chino, the border crossing used by Moroccan workers to reach the Spanish enclave, which has been shut down.

Three of the immigrants who reached the holding center are being treated in hospital over injuries reported when they stormed the barrier.

Pressure on the autonomous city has increased over the past few days after the Moroccan government announced that camping sites near Ceuta and Melilla will be dismantled. The camping sites are used by migrants to wait for the best moment to storm the barrier and cross into Spanish territory.

More: 35 Sub-Saharans Manage To Climb Into Melilla

Morocco launches anti-migrant sweep near Spain enclave