Around 150 migrants tried and failed to cross the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla on Tuesday, the local authorities have reported. Nine Spanish Civil Guard officers were injured when pushing them back.
A source from the Melilla municipality said that a group of 150 people tried at around 5:00 am to cross a breakwater in Melilla port that marks the city frontier. "But none of them got into Melilla."
The source confirmed that the Civil Guard officers sustained minor injuries after engaging with the migrants, who were carrying sticks and throwing stones. Most such migrants are sub-Saharan Africans, although there were also people from north-west Africa among them, the source added.
The Spanish-controlled enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta, located in the north of Morocco, have Europe's only land border with Africa. This makes the area a main route for migrants trying to get to Europe.
Last month, Ceuta was caught off guard when as many as 10,000 people, mostly Moroccan minors, crossed over during what seemed as a deliberate breach of border controls on the Moroccan side. The incident occurred during a diplomatic crisis between Rabat and Madrid following Spain's decision to receive Polisario Front leader Brahim Ghali.
The Spanish authorities maintained that its decision to host Ghali was "humanitarian". The Moroccans confirmed that the Polisario president entered Spain via Algeria using "forged documents and a fake identity", and have called for a "transparent investigation" into the incident.