Record number of migrants reach Spanish exclave of Ceuta

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Published on May 18, 2021 by

Around 5,000 people crossed the border from Morocco into the Spanish exclave of Ceuta on Monday, a single-day record, Spanish officials said.

The surge came as Morocco lodged a diplomatic protest against Spain for accepting a rebel leader for medical treatment.

Thousands of young migrants, including about 1,000 minors, swam or waded across the heavily fortified border. Others floated across in inflatable dinghies or swimming rings.

At least one person drowned while attempting to cross, according to local media reports.

The arrivals were checked by the Red Cross and taken to a migrant reception center.

The Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla are Africa’s only land border with the European Union, making it a target for people seeking to migrate to Europe. Only 475 migrants had crossed into Ceuta between January 1 and May 15 this year.

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