Migrant dies in mass border crossing into Spanish enclave
One African man died and eight people were injured when around 300 migrants tried to storm the border fence separating the Spanish enclave Melilla from Morocco yesterday, local authorities said.
The man, whose identity and nationality were not known, appears to have died from "natural causes", the Spanish government's local delegation said in a statement.
He fell from a height of about five metres (16 feet) and emergency services on the ground were not able to revive him, a local police spokesman said.
"It was dark, the area was unknown and it seems like he fell," the spokesman said, adding it was not clear if the migrant died from injuries sustained in his fall of from a heart attack.
Another eight migrants were lightly injured, mainly with bruises, as well as three police officers, including one who dislocated his soldier, he added.
"It was not a violent assault, there was just the typical pushing of those trying to get in who we did not let through," the police spokesman said.
About 30 of the roughly 300 migrants who stormed the triple barbed wire fence which separates Melilla from Morocco managed to get into the tiny Spanish territory, the statement said.
The rest were "intercepted and rejected" by Moroccan security forces, it added.
It was one of the largest such mass attempts to cross over the border into Melilla, which along with Spain's other North African enclave of Ceuta, have the European Union's only land borders with Africa and are regular flashpoints for African migrants.