Dozens of migrants scale fences into Spain’s Melilla enclave

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MADRID (AP) — Dozens of migrants scaled a double fence and entered the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco early Monday, authorities said.

Officials said that 59 out of around 150 migrants were able to get through. Two of the migrants and three officers from Spain’s Civil Guard paramilitary force were slightly injured, the Spanish government’s delegation in Melilla said. It added that most of the migrants were stopped by Moroccan security forces.

Those who managed to enter Spain will be tested for the coronavirus and spend a two-week quarantine in a government-run center for migrants.

Melilla and nearby Ceuta are chosen by many sub-Saharan Africans as a gateway into Europe, although they often get stuck in either of the enclaves that fall outside the continent’s Schengen area of free mobility.

In mid-January, 87 people managed to scale the double fence at the border.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, about 2,250 people attempted the risky crossing by land or in boats last year, according to Spain’s Interior Ministry, down from 7,900 in 2019.

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