75.9 F
New York
Friday, August 12, 2022

Dozens of migrants piled on the ground in Melilla disaster, rights group says

African migrants sit on top of a border fence during an attempt to cross from Morocco into Spain’s north African enclave of Melilla.
REUTERS/Jesus Blasco de Avellaneda

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

RABAT, June 25 (Reuters) – Dozens of people were pictured lying on the ground, some bleeding and many motionless, in video images purporting to show the aftermath of a mass crossing of migrants from Morocco into a Spanish enclave on Friday in which at least 18 died.

The footage, which Reuters was not immediately able to verify, was shared by AMDH, a Moroccan rights group that works with migrants in parts of northern Morocco including areas surrounding the Melilla enclave.

Moroccan authorities said late on Friday that 18 migrants had died, some from falling from a high fence while others were crushed after what they called a stampede. The local office of AMDH put the death toll at 27, without giving details on its information. read more

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Some 2,000 migrants had tried to storm the enclave fence to cross into Spanish territory, sparking two hours of violent clashes with security forces and border guards, Spanish and Moroccan authorities said, in which scores were also injured.

One video clip shared by AMDH showed a large number of African migrants lying closely piled together, their bodies overlapping, many motionless and a few making feeble gestures, with Moroccan security forces standing over them in riot gear.

The same clip showed security forces pulling two bleeding and dazed-looking migrants past those lying on the ground.

Another clip shared by AMDH showed a Moroccan security officer striking one of several migrants lying prone next to a metal fence.

Moroccan authorities said 140 members of the Moroccan security forces were also injured, five seriously, though none died.

A spokesman for the Spanish government in Melilla said no one had died on the Spanish side of the border, where 57 migrants and 49 police officers were injured.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi, Graham Keeley and Angus McDowall; editing by John Stonestreet

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


Related Articles

Latest Articles