ADDIS ABABA – The number of migrants who died trying to cross into Spain’s north African enclave of Melilla has increased to at least 23, reports say.
About 2,000 people attempted to cross on Friday, but many were stopped by Spanish Civil Guard police and Moroccan forces on either side of the border fence. Eighteen were killed and scores of migrants and police were injured in what Moroccan authorities called a “stampede”.
Five more people later died of injuries the following day, raising the death toll to 23, reported the BBC, citing Spanish officials.
The latest attempt to cross to Melilla was the first since Spain and Morocco resumed diplomatic ties in March after Madrid supported Rabat’s autonomy plan for the disputed region of Western Sahara.
Melilla and Ceuta, another Spanish enclave, have in recent years become a focal point for mostly sub-Saharan migrants attempting to reach Europe.
Featured Image Caption: Migrants who made it into the enclave went to a local migrant center, where authorities were evaluating their circumstances. [Photo EPA]
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