Morocco destroys migrant camps near border with Spanish enclave

Storming the fence at Melilla, March, 2014

(Guardian) Moroccan authorities have begun dismantling makeshift migrant camps near the Spanish enclave of Melilla, setting fire to the temporary homes of hundreds of people who were waiting to try to rush the triple fence at the border, human rights groups have said.

The raids on Mount Gourougou began in the early hours of Tuesday, said the Pro.De.In Association of Melilla. “They burned everything,” one migrant told the Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.

The man said Moroccan security forces used force to hold people back as they destroyed the camps. “They hit us on the arms, legs or on the head. I’m hurt too, they’ve cracked my skull,” he said. Some people were taken to hospital and hundreds of others were put on buses, the man said.

A 21-year-old migrant from the Ivory Coast told El Diario that he watched helplessly as authorities swept through the camp. “Several police came and they burned everything. Everything,” he said. “We couldn’t do anything. They hit us, and some people are in really bad shape”…

More: Morocco crackdown continues at Melilla: Morocco on Wednesday vowed further crackdowns on illegal migrants after rounding up hundreds of foreigners close to the Spanish enclave of Melilla, in a move criticised by local rights groups…