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37 migrants died while storming Spain's Melilla, says rights group

Immigrants sit atop a border fence after attempting to cross from Morocco to the Spanish enclave of Melilla on February 10, 2015 [ANGELA RIOS/AFP via Getty Images]
Immigrants sit atop a border fence after attempting to cross from Morocco to the Spanish enclave of Melilla on February 10, 2015 [ANGELA RIOS/AFP via Getty Images]

Thirty-seven irregular Moroccan immigrants have died as they stormed Spain's Melilla, the Spanish rights group Caminando Fronteras reported yesterday.

The organisation's spokesperson, Helena Maleno said that the number of Moroccans was "37, not 18" as stated on Saturday by the government in Rabat.

Maleno added that there were also "serious injuries among the migrants," noting that the death toll was "likely to significantly rise."

"Many of those wounded were left there without help for hours, which increased the number of deaths," she pointed out.

READ: Morocco, Spain reopen their land borders after a two-year closure

The official Channel 1 station reported on Saturday that the death toll of irregular migrants who attempted to infiltrate Melilla was 23.

On Friday, Spain announced that more than 2,000 migrants had attempted to storm Melilla in an effort to get to Europe.

Melilla and Ceuta, another small Spanish enclave in North Africa, have the EU's only land border with Africa, making them a magnet for migrants.

There are fears that a drought in Africa and soaring food prices could increase the number of migrants fleeing to Europe.

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AfricaEurope & RussiaMoroccoNewsSpain
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