African migrants force their way into Spain’s Melilla enclave

July 4, 2016
African react as they arrive at the CETI, the short-stay immigrant centre, after crossing the border from Morocco to Spain's North African enclave of Melilla

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African migrants react as they arrive at the CETI, the short-stay immigrant centre, after crossing the border from Morocco to Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla, Spain, June 26, 2016. REUTERS/Jesus Blasco de Avellaneda
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MELILLA, Spain (Reuters) – About 30 people forced their way into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla on Sunday, a local government official said, one of few successful attempts to storm the border so far this year following increased patrols and security.

Spain has two enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, and migrants from all over Africa regularly try to reach them, by climbing the triple barriers that separate them from Morocco or swimming along the coastline.

After thousands of migrants crossed from Africa to the enclave in 2014 and 2015, Spain last year stepped up security at the Melilla border. Although there is no official data, just a few dozen are believed to have made it so far in 2016.

The migrants chanted “victory, victory” as they arrived at the short-stay immigrant center, where they usually stop for a few weeks before they seek to reach continental Spain and either stay there or travel throughout Europe.

(Reporting by Jesus Blasco de Avellaneda, writing by Julien Toyer; Editing by Digby Lidstone)

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