2 dead, 12 injured as 200 migrants swim from Morocco to Spain

MADRID -- Two people drowned and at least 12 others were injured when they tried to get to a small patch of Spanish territory in North Africa by swimming from Morocco and scaling a barbed-wire fence that juts into the sea, Spanish and Moroccan news agencies reported Friday.

See Full Article

The dead and hurt were among more than 200 people trying to reach the enclave of Ceuta, which borders Morocco and is across the Strait of Gibraltar from mainland Spain.

More than a million people hoping to escape war and poverty have made their way into Europe this year, according to migration monitors, but attention has been focused on two more common routes -- across the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece or across the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy.

Thousands of African migrants also try to enter the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla each year hoping to get to Europe. Fifteen drowned trying to reach Ceuta last year; the two deaths Friday are the first there this year.

Those who make it typically are not sent back, but are taken to detention centres and allowed to apply for asylum. Sometimes they're flown to the Spanish mainland.

Those involved in Friday's incident made the swim at 2:50 a.m., but 104 were intercepted by Moroccan forces, the Morocco state news service MAP reported, citing government sources. Several Moroccan officers were injured by sticks and stones and police have opened an investigation, MAP said.

Spain's Red Cross said it distributed clothes and shoes to 185 people who had made it to Spanish territory by either scaling the border fence or swimming to get around it. The agency transferred 12 people to Ceuta's University Hospital. Two were recovering from near-drowning, another had an open leg fracture, and most of the rest had deep cuts, some that required stitches.

Spanish television broadcaster TVE showed images of Red Cross ambulances attending to and feeding dozens of migrants, covered in red towels and blankets next to the 9-meter (30-foot) high fence that protrudes out into the Mediterranean at Ceuta's western border with Morocco.

Associated Press writer Lori Hinnant in Paris contributed to this report.


Latest Canada & World News

  • 'A revolving door': Neighbours angry about Burnaby B.C. home operating as 9-bedroom hotel

    Canada News CTV News
    A multi-million dollar Burnaby, B.C. home that was advertising nine rooms on short-term rental sites like Airbnb and Booking.com has neighbours calling on municipal authorities to shut down the de-facto hotel. The house was bought for $2.65 million last September. Source
  • Anti-pipeline protests continue in Burnaby, B.C.

    Canada News CTV News
    BURNABY, B.C. -- Anti-pipeline protesters are continuing to demonstrate near Kinder Morgan's terminal in Burnaby, B.C., today. Dozens of people followed Indigenous leaders in a march toward a gate to the Burnaby Terminal, with organizers saying more than 70 of them were prepared to be arrested. Source
  • Gun control rallies being held in over a dozen Canadian cities in support of March for Our Lives

    Canada News CBC News
    More than a dozen Canadian cities are hosting marches to call for stricter gun control laws in both Canada and the United States in the wake of a deadly high school shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Fla. Source
  • Man dog-sledding from Churchill to New Brunswick reaches halfway point

    Canada News CBC News
    A musher and his 12 Alaskan huskies have reached the halfway point of their 3,000-kilometre dog sled trek from Manitoba to his home province of New Brunswick. Justin Allen left Churchill, Man., on January 22 and arrived in Moosonee, Ont. Source
  • Driver fired after Ottawa school vehicle struck by gate arm at train crossing

    Canada News CTV News
    An Ottawa father is demanding answers after a vehicle transporting his eight-year-old son to school was struck by a railway crossing’s gate arms while a VIA Rail Canada train roared past. Jim Stackhouse said three-and-a-half hours passed before he was informed of the incident on Thursday. Source
  • Canadian cities hold March for our Lives events

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL - More than a dozen Canadian cities are hosting marches to call for stricter gun control laws in both Canada and the United States in the wake of a deadly high school shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Fla. Source
  • Gun control rally begins where the movement was sparked

    World News CTV News
    PARKLAND, Fla. -- Thousands of people filled a park near Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at a "March for Our Lives" rally near the site of last month's school massacre in Parkland, Florida. Saturday's rally in South Florida had the feel of a campaign event. Source
  • Kaetlyn Osmond's Marystown homecoming in April now a world champion's welcome

    Canada News CBC News
    Kaetlyn Osmond stunned the skating world Friday evening in Milan when she unexpectedly became the first Canadian woman in 45 years to win the world figure skating championships — just weeks before the small Newfoundland town where she grew up hosts her for a skating event. Source
  • 'Share your spare': N.B. man advertising on car to find kidney donors

    Canada News CTV News
    A New Brunswick man is hitting the road in the hopes of finding a kidney donor. Dan McLaughlin and his wife Patricia stuck decals to the back windows of their cars on Thursday, asking people to “share your spare. Source
  • Hundreds gather in Toronto in support of U.S. gun control rally

    Canada News CBC News
    About 200 people have gathered in Toronto on Saturday for the March of Our Lives rally to show solidarity with the U.S. gun control movement. The Toronto rally got underway at 10 a.m. at Nathan Phillips Square, where demonstrators began a march to Queen's Park. Source