Fri. 8:40 a.m.: Spain: 50 migrants scale fence to African enclave

MADRID (AP) — Authorities in the North Africa city that is a Spanish enclave said today that around 200 migrants tried to climb a security fence separating Melilla from Morocco.

The local office of the Spanish government’s representative said about 50 of the migrants managed to scale the barrier surrounding the coastal city, while the other 150 were repelled by Spanish and Moroccan border guards.

The government office said one migrant suffered a fractured leg and six Spanish police officers were injured.

The migrants who reached Spanish soil were taken to a holding center, where they can ask for asylum while authorities start procedures to return them to their countries of origin.

In May, 52 migrants got over the Melilla fence in another attempt.

Spain’s Interior Ministry says 2,397 migrants reached Melilla over land between Jan. 1 and July 15. That is 2,554 fewer than during the same period last year.

Spain has become a leading entry point for migrants to Europe. Most risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea in small boats unsuited for open water.

The ministry said this week that 14,667 people arrived to Spain without authorization since the beginning of the year, compared to 19,997 during the same period in 2018.