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Moment 500 refugees storm 20-foot Spanish fence





  • Nearly 500 migrants scaled fences along the Tarajal border in the Spanish city of Ceuta at about 5am today
  • Emergency crews in Spain's North African enclave are treating refugees who were injured climbing the fence
  • Dramatic footage shows bare-chested men shouting with joy and performing somersaults in the city streets

By Gerard Couzens for MailOnline

Published: 03:44 EST, 17 February 2017 | Updated: 07:42 EST, 17 February 2017

These were the dramatic scenes as hundreds of bloodied and emotional African immigrants exploded with joy after storming a border fence to reach Spain this morning.

The men shouted: 'Viva España', 'We Love You España' and 'Boza, boza' - 'Victory, victory' as they beat their chests in a show of joy at making it to Europe.

Many were bare chested and barefoot - and others were bleeding from deep cuts they had suffered after managing to reach Spain's north African enclave of Ceuta from Morocco. 

One did a somersault as crowds of migrants were seen walking along a road in the seaside community which is ringed by a double wire fence that is five miles long. The 20-foot high fence also has rolls of barbed wire.

Local authorities said they believed around 900 immigrants had attempted to storm the fence - and more than 400 had managed to cross it.

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Overjoyed migrants hold the European flag as they wait to be processed this morning having stormed the fence around Ceuta Overjoyed migrants hold the European flag as they wait to be processed this morning having stormed the fence around Ceuta

Overjoyed migrants hold the European flag as they wait to be processed this morning having stormed the fence around Ceuta

Police were called in after up to 500 migrants stormed over a fence around the city of Ceuta in the earlier hours of this morning Police were called in after up to 500 migrants stormed over a fence around the city of Ceuta in the earlier hours of this morning

Police were called in after up to 500 migrants stormed over a fence around the city of Ceuta in the earlier hours of this morning

The men shouted: 'Viva España', 'We Love You España' and 'Boza, boza' - 'Victory, victory' as they beat their chests in a show of joy at making it to Europe The men shouted: 'Viva España', 'We Love You España' and 'Boza, boza' - 'Victory, victory' as they beat their chests in a show of joy at making it to Europe

The men shouted: 'Viva España', 'We Love You España' and 'Boza, boza' - 'Victory, victory' as they beat their chests in a show of joy at making it to Europe

One man did a somersault as overjoyed migrants made their way though the streets this morning One man did a somersault as overjoyed migrants made their way though the streets this morning
One man did a somersault as overjoyed migrants made their way though the streets this morning One man did a somersault as overjoyed migrants made their way though the streets this morning

Overjoyed: One man could be seen performing a somersault ahead of a crowd of migrants making their way though the streets this morning

The mass assault happened around just before dawn this morning.

Local TV station Faro TV Ceuta broadcast extraordinary footage of the men celebrating after reaching Europe.

Some of the immigrants were filmed jumping up and down with joy as they turned to others near the top of the fence who had failed to get across and were still stuck in Morocco.

One - bare chested and barefoot - did a somersault as he ran in the darkness ahead of other men towards a temporary migrant holding centre where they received medical attention.

It was not clear today how the centre - known as a CETI where the immigrants are given three meals a day, Spanish lessons and psychological support and stay for months at a time before being transferred to the mainland to relieve the pressure on living conditions - would cope.

In December, local governors ended up having to house the immigrants in army tents they mounted in a municipal equestrian centre car park after more than 400 undocumented Africans stormed the border fence.

The tents were taken down just before the New Year after 74 men and five women were transferred to different parts of the Spanish mainland.

There were scenes of jubilation as migrants reached the otherside of the fence. They are pictured sitting on the grounf in front of police There were scenes of jubilation as migrants reached the otherside of the fence. They are pictured sitting on the grounf in front of police

There were scenes of jubilation as migrants reached the otherside of the fence. They are pictured sitting on the grounf in front of police

Migrants sit on the ground next to Spanish police officers after storming a fence to enter the Spanish enclave of Ceuta Migrants sit on the ground next to Spanish police officers after storming a fence to enter the Spanish enclave of Ceuta

Migrants sit on the ground next to Spanish police officers after storming a fence to enter the Spanish enclave of Ceuta

Relief: Exhausted refugees collapsed on the road as they waited to be processed in Ceuta. Some 500 were able to scale the fence Relief: Exhausted refugees collapsed on the road as they waited to be processed in Ceuta. Some 500 were able to scale the fence

Relief: Exhausted refugees collapsed on the road as they waited to be processed in Ceuta. Some 500 were able to scale the fence

Up to 500 migrants have stormed a fence to enter the Spanish enclave of Ceuta from Morocco, it has emerged Up to 500 migrants have stormed a fence to enter the Spanish enclave of Ceuta from Morocco, it has emerged

Up to 500 migrants have stormed a fence to enter the Spanish enclave of Ceuta from Morocco, it has emerged

A migrant with wounded hands lies on the ground after crossing over the wall at the Tarajal border in Ceuta, Spain A migrant with wounded hands lies on the ground after crossing over the wall at the Tarajal border in Ceuta, Spain

A migrant with wounded hands lies on the ground after crossing over the wall at the Tarajal border in Ceuta, Spain

As well as mass assaults on the fence separating Ceuta from Morocco, other immigrants reach the Spanish enclave by sea or hidden in cars As well as mass assaults on the fence separating Ceuta from Morocco, other immigrants reach the Spanish enclave by sea or hidden in cars

As well as mass assaults on the fence separating Ceuta from Morocco, other immigrants reach the Spanish enclave by sea or hidden in cars

At the time Ceuta's CETI was said to be housing 948 people, nearly double the 512 it was built to accommodate.

As well as mass assaults on the fence separating Ceuta from Morocco, other immigrants reach the Spanish enclave by sea or hidden in cars, with some even risking their lives by curling into balls so they can be smuggled across the border under the bonnets of modified vehicles.

Fifty Moroccan and five Spanish border guards were injured on New Years Eve when 1,100 African immigrants tried to scale the 20ft fence around 4am on New Years Day.

Only two managed to make it to Ceuta. One border guard is said to have to lost an eye.

The attempt was described at the time as 'extremely violent and organised' by Spain's government representative in Ceuta.

An emergency team in Ceuta is assisting hundreds of migrants who crossed the fence surrounding Spain's enclave in North Africa earlier today An emergency team in Ceuta is assisting hundreds of migrants who crossed the fence surrounding Spain's enclave in North Africa earlier today

An emergency team in Ceuta is assisting hundreds of migrants who crossed the fence surrounding Spain's enclave in North Africa earlier today

A man shows the injures on his hand as he sits on the ground near the border fence today A man shows the injures on his hand as he sits on the ground near the border fence today

A man shows the injures on his hand as he sits on the ground near the border fence today

Many were injured in their attempts to scale the fence this morning. The incident unfolded at about 5am  Many were injured in their attempts to scale the fence this morning. The incident unfolded at about 5am 

Many were injured in their attempts to scale the fence this morning. The incident unfolded at about 5am 

European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex revealed earlier this week that 1,000 immigrants managed to cross the Ceuta and Melilla border fences last year European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex revealed earlier this week that 1,000 immigrants managed to cross the Ceuta and Melilla border fences last year

European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex revealed earlier this week that 1,000 immigrants managed to cross the Ceuta and Melilla border fences last year

Local TV station Faro TV Ceuta broadcast extraordinary footage of the men celebrating after reaching Europe Local TV station Faro TV Ceuta broadcast extraordinary footage of the men celebrating after reaching Europe

Local TV station Faro TV Ceuta broadcast extraordinary footage of the men celebrating after reaching Europe

Ceuta, 18 miles across the water from Gibraltar, is one of Spain's two north African enclaves. The other, Melilla, also has a high border fence, which has witnessed spectacular mass assaults by sub-Saharan African immigrants who in some cases have spent years trying to reach Europe.

European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex revealed earlier this week that 1,000 immigrants managed to cross the Ceuta and Melilla border fences last year.

This morning's assault on the fence in Ceuta is believed to have taken place at four different points, suggesting it was also a highly-organised attempt designed to complicate the work of Moroccan and Spanish police trying to stop them.

A spokesman for a local emergency coordination centre said early this morning: 'Red Cross Ceuta is assisting some 400 people in the CETI, although that's not a definitive figure.

'We have not yet got information about how many are injured and possible transfers to hospital.

'Civil Guard indicate up to 500 people may have managed to make it into Ceuta.' 

Hundreds of bloodied and emotional African immigrants exploded with joy after storming a border fence to reach Spain this morning

Spain's Civil Guard said that a surveillance camera registered how more than 500 people approached the fence with tools and clubs that they used for breaking one of the gates Spain's Civil Guard said that a surveillance camera registered how more than 500 people approached the fence with tools and clubs that they used for breaking one of the gates

Spain's Civil Guard said that a surveillance camera registered how more than 500 people approached the fence with tools and clubs that they used for breaking one of the gates

The last mass border crossing attempt occured on December 9, when some 438 Sub-Saharan immigrants managed to enter the country The last mass border crossing attempt occured on December 9, when some 438 Sub-Saharan immigrants managed to enter the country

The last mass border crossing attempt occured on December 9, when some 438 Sub-Saharan immigrants managed to enter the country

Large groups of refugees are reported to have scaled fences in four places along the Tarajal border in the city (file picture), in North Africa, earlier this morning Large groups of refugees are reported to have scaled fences in four places along the Tarajal border in the city (file picture), in North Africa, earlier this morning

Large groups of refugees are reported to have scaled fences in four places along the Tarajal border in the city (file picture), in North Africa, earlier this morning

 

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