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Last Updated: Monday, 3 October 2005, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK
Migrants charge Spanish enclave
Workers install razor wire on the border fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla
Spanish authorities have been trying to reinforce the border fence
Several hundred African would-be immigrants have stormed a barrier on the border of the Spanish enclave of Melilla in Morocco.

About 700 people charged two razor-wire security fences, with at least 200 managing to get over the border after the fence collapsed.

Some of the migrants and several Spanish officials were reported hurt.

Last week, Spain and Morocco deployed hundreds of police and army officers to keep immigrants out.

On Thursday, five people were crushed to death while trying to break into the other Spanish enclave of Ceuta.

No documents

Hours after the mass surge in Melilla, make-shift ladders, shoes, shirts and other pieces of clothing still dangled from the barrier, the Associated Press news agency reported.

"There was an attempt to cross by about 700... although the army is there patrolling. It was in an area where the fence is about six metres (20ft) high," a civil guard spokesman told the Reuters news agency.

Map showing the locations of the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla

Many of the migrants who made it across to the Spanish side were arrested and taken away in buses.

Melilla and nearby Ceuta are seen as stepping stones to Europe by African migrants.

Most arrive without documentation, leaving the police in Melilla to take their details and issue them with expulsion papers.

Many hope to be sent to mainland Spain on the premise of being sent back to their own countries, and then remain in Spain.

So far, police have logged at least 12,000 attempts to enter Melilla this year.



SEE ALSO:
Africans die in Spanish enclave
29 Sep 05 |  Africa
New storming of Spanish enclave
28 Sep 05 |  Africa
In pictures: Fortress Europe
28 Sep 05 |  In Pictures
Regions and territories: Ceuta, Melilla
03 Sep 05 |  Country profiles


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