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2 Moroccan police officers injured in clashes with African immigrants

Two Moroccan police officers were injured on Wednesday during clashes with African immigrants who tried to leave the country and illegally enter the European Union.

Anadolu Agency reported that clashes broke out when army and police forces tried to thwart an illegal immigration attempt by a number of Africans from the coast of the Hawara region in the western suburb of Tangier, far north of Morocco.

Witnesses said that the immigrants threw stones at the police officers when they surrounded them, injuring two officers (the degree of injury was not determined). They also damaged a car belonging to the Ministry of Interior.

There was no comment from security authorities on the incident by 14.40 GMT.

Read: Morocco thwarts Ceuta raid by 250 illegal migrants

A security officer, who did not reveal his name, told Anadolu that the intervention carried out by the army and police forces resulted in the arrest of 19 African immigrants, including 11 women and children.

The officer said that the operation took place after local authorities received information concerning a suspicious activity related to illegal immigration in the region.

The western suburb of Tangier, on the Atlantic Ocean, has been the scene of repeated attempts by illegal immigrants to reach the European coasts due to the tightening of the security grip on the Mediterranean front of the country, according to the Anadolu correspondent.

In the western suburb of Tangier, 15 illegal immigration attempts were thwarted in July, according to official data.

The Moroccan Navy and its Spanish counterpart are on high alert in the Strait of Gibraltar because of the massive attempts by immigrants to cross the Strait from the Moroccan coast to Spain illegally.

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