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Hundreds of African refugees cross fenced border into Spain

20 February 2017 15:18

 

Hundreds of refugees have managed to cross the border from Morocco into Spanish territory after scaling a six-meter-high barbed-wired fence, the Red Cross says.

Some 350 refugees crossed the border fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta on Monday. At least eleven of them were sent to hospital to be treated for injuries or fractures they sustained while climbing the high border fence, according to a spokeswoman for the Red Cross in Ceuta, who declined to be identified by name.

Spanish police said the 350 who did enter were part of a total of 700 people who attempted the crossing.

This was the second attempt to enter the enclave since Friday, when at least 500 refugees made it over the same fenced border.

Refugees attempting to enter Europe from Africa continue to climb the fence or even swim around it along the coast despite tighter controls on both sides of the border.

The Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla have the European Union (EU)’s only land borders with Africa.

A previous such attempted refugee rush took place on New Year’s Day, when more than 1,000 people tried to jump over the high fence.

People take part in a rally in support of refugees in Barcelona, Spain, February 18, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

 

Refugees fleeing violence and economic woes have been arriving en masse by sea and land in European territories. The massive influx has turned into a crisis for the European countries, some of which have decided to fortify and close their borders to stop incoming refugees.

But people and governments in those countries sometimes differ over the issue. On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people held a rally in Barcelona, calling on the government to take in the refugees.

The demonstrators held banners and signs reading “Enough Excuses! Take Them In Now!” and “No More Deaths, Open The Borders!”

Many of the refugees who have been taking sea routes to Europe have drowned on the way as the unseaworthy vessels that carry them often capsize in rough waters.

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