Security Fence Violence
Spanish authorities are rushing to double the height of a fence surrounding the north African enclave of Melilla after a dozen more immigrants were injured in a battle with police as they tried to find a way on to European soil.
The injuries followed the deaths of at least three immigrants over the past three weeks during mass attempts to storm the frontier that have ended in clashes with both Spanish police and their Moroccan counterparts on the other side of Melilla’s border. Immigrants are using ladders and what one official called “military tactics” in their increasingly desperate attempts to get through the barrier erected around what is, in effect, a land frontier between the European Union and Africa.
Two 3m-high (10ft) security fences ring the Spanish enclave, which is home to 60,000 Spaniards and lies nine miles from the Moroccan city of Nador. Melilla is, with Ceuta, one of two Spanish enclaves on the coast of north Africa whose sovereignty is also claimed by Morocco. The six mile-long frontier has sensor pads, movement detectors, spotlights, infrared cameras and is patrolled by the Spanish civil guard.
The migrants, who have often travelled thousands of miles through central Africa and the Sahara to get to Melilla, try to cross the frontier in groups of up to 200. “We go in a group and all jump at once. We know that some will get through, that others will be injured and others may die, but we have to get through, whatever the cost,” one told El PeriÃƒ³dico newspaper.
They better learn to blow up buses in Israel if they expect sympathy from the EU.