February 17, 2017 / 1:16 PM / in 9 months

Some 500 migrants cross border into Spanish enclave of Ceuta

MADRID (Reuters) - Around 500 sub-Saharan African migrants crossed the fenced border surrounding Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta from Morocco early on Friday, emergency services said.

African migrants react as they arrive at the CETI, the short-stay immigrant centre, after crossing the border from Morocco to Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta, Spain, February 17, 2017. REUTERS/Jesus Moron

Dozens of migrants, many with wounds from climbing over the 6-metre barbed wire fence, celebrated in the streets in the early hours of the day with some shouting “freedom”, TV footage showed.

Police and local government officials in Ceuta were not immediately available to give further details.

The Red Cross was treating some 400 migrants at its centre there and had dispatched five ambulances to help, Ceuta’s emergency service said on its Twitter page.

Spain’s two enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, are often used as entry points into Europe for African migrants, who either climb over their border fences or try to swim along the coast.

In January, around 1,100 migrants tried to cross into Ceuta although most were eventually turned back.

Reporting by Rodrigo de Miguel; Writing by Angus Berwick; Editing by Julien Toyer and Alison Williams

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