The Spanish and Moroccan authorities yesterday thwarted attempts by 500 African migrants to illegally enter the city of Melilla, a semi-autonomous region in the north-east of Morocco held under Spanish sovereignty, the Spanish Civil Guard reported on its Twitter feed.
The private Spanish news agency EFE said: "At dawn on Sunday the Spanish Civil Guard and the Moroccan security services thwarted the attempts of 500 illegal immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa to enter the city of Melilla, through the iron border fence surrounding the city."
EFE quoted anonymous security sources as saying that after the Spanish Civil Guard troops spotted 500 migrants heading towards the barbed wire fence that separates Melilla from Morocco, the Moroccan and Spanish forces immediately took the necessary actions. Both forces boosted their troops along the fence, stopping the migrants from passing through.
The nationalities and the fate of the immigrants involved have not been specified.
Thousands of migrants have tried to breach the barbed wire fence surrounding the city of Melilla. The last attempt for immigrants to enter Melilla took place on June 18 when the two authorities thwarted an infiltration attempt of 400 African illegal immigrants.
In an attempt to reduce illegal immigration, the Spanish authorities have established a fencing area between Melilla and the Moroccan city of Nador, with an 11 kilometre long barrier which stands at seven metres high. In addition to this, they installing barbed wire on the top of the fence, and equipped it with the most modern surveillance technology.