500 Migrants enter Spanish enclave in North Africa

Melilla, Spain, Mar 18 (EFE).- Some 500 sub-Saharan migrants managed to enter this Spanish city in North Africa on Tuesday after carrying out a massive assault on the border fence amid dense fog, police sources told Efe.

Visibility was close to zero when the migrants made their move, around 8:00 a.m., and the border guards could see only a few meters (yards) beyond the perimeter separating Melilla from Morocco.

Once inside the barrier, the migrants headed en masse to the Center for the Temporary Stay of Immigrants, or CETI, which was already holding some 1,400 people - triple its capacity.

Red Cross personnel in Melilla treated several of the new arrivals for minor injuries.

Authorities in Morocco said 33 people were hurt on their side of the border, including five police the migrants pelted with rocks.

Tuesday's was the second mass assault on Melilla's border this month and the fifth since Feb. 6, when 15 sub-Saharan migrants drowned in the Mediterranean as they tried to enter Ceuta, the other Spanish city bordering Morocco.

Both Spanish enclaves have been under tremendous pressure from migrants during the last few months.

Nearly 900 migrants tried to enter Melilla in two separate waves on March 10, but only 15 made it, while more than 200 people succeeded in entering the Spanish city at the end of last month.