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500 refugees storm over 20-foot Spanish fence from Morocco





500 refugees storm over 20-foot Spanish fence from Morocco 500 refugees storm over 20-foot Spanish fence from Morocco
  • Nearly 500 migrants scaled fences along Tarajal border in Spanish city of Ceuta
  • Emergency crews in Spain's North African enclave are treating injured refugees
  • Incident reported to have happened earlier this morning in four different places 

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.

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

 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

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.

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

 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, 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.

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.

 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

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/yesterday morning (FRI): '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.' 


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Larry Whyte
Larry Whyte

He is a leading authority on business trends including ‘big data’, self-employment and the social media revolution. He’s the author of the award-winning book, Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed (2011, Wiley) and a regular speaker for Bloomberg TV. He has spoken about global mega trends, big data and the social media revolution at conferences and business events around the world .

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