MADRID, Jan 2 — More than 1,000 migrants tried to jump a high double fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta yesterday in a violent assault that saw one officer lose an eye, local authorities said.
A group of 1,100 people from sub-Saharan Africa trying to reach Europe stormed the border fence just after 4am (1100 in Malaysia) on New Year’s Day in an “extremely violent and organised” way, said the central government’s representative office in Ceuta.
None however managed to get through, bar two who were badly injured and taken to hospital in Ceuta, the office said in a statement. A similar assault on December 9 saw more than 400 migrants enter the tiny enclave.
They tried “to force open some of the doors in the external fence, using iron bars, wire cutters and large stones with which they assaulted Moroccan forces and (Spanish) Guardia Civil (police) agents,” it added.
Five Spanish policemen and 50 members of the Moroccan forces were injured, including one who lost an eye, it said.
A Moroccan interior ministry statement said that of those members of the security forces who were hurt, 10 were in a serious condition.
Ceuta and Melilla, another Spanish territory in North Africa, have the European Union’s only land borders with Africa.