Fifty migrants reach Spanish enclave of Melilla

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Fifty migrants reach Spanish enclave of Melilla

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Around 50 migrants successfully entered Melilla, one of two Spanish North African enclaves, on Monday after several hundred more tried to reach the Spanish territory through different points of the border fence simultaneously.

Many of the group are understood to have fled Mali where al Qaeda-linked militants occupy much of the country’s north.

Every year thousands risk their lives to get to Spain’s African territories.

Earlier this year, at least 12 people drowned after Spanish border police fired rubber bullets to stop them swimming along the coast to reach the other Spanish enclave Ceuta.

Last week around 300 Africans made a coordinated attempt to scale the border fence between Morocco and Spanish territory.

Human rights groups have demanded better treatment for migrants trying to get to Spain from Morocco.

Last year, 4,235 people crossed from Africa into the two territories by swimming along the coastline, climbing the barrier or hiding in vehicles.

This figure is a 48.5 percent increase from 2012 figures, when 2,841 migrants arrived in the Spanish enclaves.