Just hours ahead of a summit between Spain and Morocco in Seville, there hasbeen another night of agitation on Spain’s African frontier. For a second night in a row hundreds of mostly African immigrants desperate to enter the EU have tried to storm the fence around Melilla, one of two Spaish enclaves on the north African coast.
Around 500 people used hundreds of makeshift wooden ladders to scale the three metre-high fence. Spain announced earlier this month it would double the height.
Successive waves of between 50 and 100 would-be immigrants proved too much for Spanish police, who called in help from their Moroccan counterparts. In all, some 100 immigrants managed to get into Spanish territory. 12 were injured, along with six police officers.
It is the biggest incident of its kind this year. The Spanish interior ministry says 11 000 immigrants have attempted to scale the fence in the last nine months, during which time it is believed two have died. Illegal immigration will be top of the agenda at Thursday’s summit.