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International

Dozens Feared Dead While Crossing Spanish Enclave Of Melilla

At least 23 migrants have died and others were hurt on Friday when a huge crowd tried to cross into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla, officials from neighbouring Morocco say.

Reports say some of those who died had fallen from the top of a border fence.

Several security personnel and migrants were admitted to the hospital for treatment following clashes early on Friday.

It was the first such attempted mass crossing since Spain and Morocco resumed diplomatic ties in March.

The thaw in relations came after Spain supported Morocco’s autonomy plan for the disputed region of Western Sahara.

Spanish officials say several hundred people tried to break through into the enclave after cutting fencing.

Most were forced back but more than 100 got through and were being processed at a reception centre, they added.

Originally 18 deaths were reported, but officials said on Saturday that five more people had died of their injuries.

Melilla and Ceuta, another Spanish enclave, have in recent years become a focal point for mostly sub-Saharan migrants attempting to reach Europe.

Source: BBC

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