RABAT, Morocco (AP) _ Hundreds of stone-throwing migrants attempted to force their way into the Spanish enclave of Melilla on Morocco‘s coast in two early morning waves on Tuesday, the Moroccan Interior Ministry said.
Moroccan police arrested 150 people at 3:30 a.m. and then a further 102 from another wave of 600 migrants at 7 a.m. There was no information about how many succeeded in scaling the six-meter (20-foot) high double barbed wire border fence.
The ministry said 28 migrants were injured by the barbed wire and were treated at the Nador hospital. Five members of the Moroccan security forces were injured by rocks thrown by the migrants.
Thousands try each year to enter the city, which is on the Mediterranean Sea, and Spain’s other coastal enclave, Ceuta, in the hope of achieving a better life in Europe.
The statement did not give the migrants’ nationalities, but tens of thousands of sub-Saharan Africans reside in Morocco hoping to get to Europe, often through the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta.
In the past month, assaults on the enclave have picked up pace, sometimes happening twice a week.