MADRID (AP) — Spanish authorities said that an African man died and 11 other people sustained minor injuries Thursday when around 300 migrants attempted to jump over a series of fences that separate the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Moroccan territory.
The man who died was among the 30 who managed to reach European soil in the early hours of Thursday, a spokesman with the Civil Guard in Melilla said, adding that the man had collapsed shortly after as a consequence of a heart attack and that emergency services on the ground couldn’t revive him.
The spokesman, who wasn’t authorized to be named in media reports, said the death has been blamed on “natural causes.”
Eight other migrants were treated for bruises and cuts. Three Civil Guard officers who were at the site with emergency and health services were also treated for minor injuries, the spokesman said.
Moroccan law enforcement stopped the rest of the migrants from attempting to cross, he added.
Melilla and nearby Ceuta are two tiny territories in northern Africa separated from neighboring Morocco by barbed-wire fences and constant border monitoring.
According to Spain’s Interior Ministry, at least 1,383 migrants entered the two enclaves by land without authorization in the first half of the year, 1,930 fewer than during the same period in 2019.