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Hundreds of migrants storm 6m-high razor wire at Spanish exclave Ceuta

30 Aug, 2019

At least 150 of an estimated 250 migrants who attempted to storm Spain’s north African exclave Ceuta, made it to the city’s Temporary Migrant Reception Centre (CETI) of Jaral in the early hours of Friday morning.

Six Spanish police officers were injured in scuffles as migrants stormed the six-meter-high fence, which bristles with razor wire, at 7:20 am local time near the breakwater of the town of Benzu.

The Red Cross were deployed to treat injured migrants who became stuck on the fence. Video from the scene shows Spanish authorities escorting jubilant migrants through the streets of the city along Morocco’s northern coast.

Spain’s North African outpost is frequently targeted by groups of migrants fleeing to Europe.

“Around 250 migrants tried to jump over the fence and some 155 made it,” a Spanish government spokesman said.

The EU ended its naval patrols under Operation Sophia in March amid fears that they merely encouraged people smugglers to push desperate migrants out to sea on vessels unfit for travel. The responsibility for migrant rescue then fell to NGOs, though many were prevented from offloading rescued migrants in EU ports in Italy, France, and Malta, exacerbating the ongoing crisis which has become a key issue across Europe and led to deep divisions within the bloc.

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Some 43,000 migrants have attempted the Mediterranean crossing so far this year, a fraction of the numbers that braved the journey just three years ago.

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