At least 859 African migrants have broken through the border fence between Morocco and the Spanish territory of Ceuta to enter Spain since Friday, reports Reuters.
The first batch of 500 migrants breached the fence on Friday, while the second group of 359 African migrants crossed on Monday.
According to Ceuta authorities, the 359 were part of a group of about 600 migrants that tried to break in to the Spanish territory by cutting the barbed-wire fence using wire cutters and other instruments.
Three people — two of them police officers manning the fence — sustained serious injuries in the stampede and were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Another 1,400 migrants are currently waiting to be processed in the North African enclave, and authorities in Ceuta are calling on well-wishers to provide them with tents to house the latest arrivals.
Most of these migrants are likely to be deported to Morocco or their countries of origin once their papers have been processed, according to authorities.
Desperate & Risky Journey
Since the early 1990s, when Spain and Italy imposed tough visa requirements on migrants from North Africa, there has been an unprecedented increase in illegal migration across the Mediterranean Sea.
Over the last 18 years, the source countries of illegal immigration to Europe have grown to include sub-Saharan African countries, such as Ethiopia, Eritrea, Nigeria, and more.
These migrants use overcrowded inflatable boats to cross the Mediterranean Sea, but sadly, most of them end up drowning in the middle of the sea.
So far, thousands of African refugees and migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea while attempting to enter Europe illegally.
Spain’s two North African territories, Ceuta in Northern Morocco and Melilla in eastern Morocco near the Algerian border, have been cited as the main crossing points by illegal African migrants.
Spanish authorities say more than 1,100 migrants attempted to cross in to Ceuta in January, but most of them were turned back.
While a significant number of these migrants want to enter Europe in search of greener pastures, the majority of them are desperate refugees fleeing war, persecution, and famine.