More than 1,000 migrants tried to storm a high double fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta on New Year’s Day in a violent assault that saw one officer lose an eye.
A group of 1,100 people from sub-Saharan Africa trying to reach Europe stormed the border fence just after 4 am on New Year’s Day in an “extremely violent and organised” way, said the central government’s representative office in Ceuta.
None managed to get through, bar two who were badly injured and taken to hospital in Ceuta, the office said in a statement. A similar assault on 9 December saw more than 400 migrants enter the tiny enclave.
They tried “to force open some of the doors in the external fence, using iron bars, wire cutters and large stones with which they assaulted Moroccan forces and (Spanish) Guardia Civil (police) agents”, it added.
Five Spanish policemen and 50 members of the Moroccan forces were injured, including one who lost an eye.
Ceuta and Melilla, another Spanish territory in North Africa, have the European Union’s only land borders with Africa.