Migrants spray Spanish border with ACID and quicklime, migrants attack arresting police officers, “They were very violent. I’d never seen anything like it.”


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‘Gang’ of migrants arrested after Spanish border guards sprayed with ACID and quicklime

SPANISH police have arrested 10 migrants accused of burning them with acid and quicklime to try to storm a fence separating Africa from European soil.

By Gerard Couzens in Spain, The Exoress,

Civil Guard officers held the men at a foreigners’ accommodation centre in Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta following an investigation into an assault on the fence on July 26 in which 22 police were injured.

All 10 are sub-Saharan Africans.

They were held this morning on suspicion of membership of a criminal gang, criminal damage and assaulting police officers.

A man identified by police as the alleged ringleader of the violent border defence assault reportedly attacked one of the arresting officers when he was held just after 8am local time, leaving him with a wound to his head.

The detainees have been taken to police cells in Ceuta and are expected to appear before an investigating judge later today or tomorrow.

More than 600 migrants managed to storm the high barbed-wire fence separating Morocco from Spain’s North African enclave in the July 26 assault.

As well as acid and quicklime, police said they also had cans with excrement inside thrown over them.

Around 50 Civil Guard officers tried to stop nearly 1,000 Africans.

One officer involved in the operation was quoted afterwards as saying: “They were very violent. I’d never seen anything like it.”

Several of the 22 officers hurt that day were taken to hospital. Others were attended by Red Cross workers at the scene.

Seven policemen were burned by acid and quicklime allegedly thrown by some of the migrants during a new storming of the fence last week.

Most were subsequently returned to Morocco in a surprise move which was criticised by organisations like Amnesty International.

Sub-Saharan Africans living illegally in Morocco try to enter Europe each year by scaling fences surrounding Ceuta and Melilla, Spain’s other North African enclave.

More than 3,800 migrants have crossed the border into Ceuta and Melilla so far this year, according to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR.

The route accounted for 14 per cent of the total 27,600 who arrived, mainly by sea, between January and July, a 130 per cent increase on the previous year.

Many are then taken to holding centres on the Spanish mainland when they get too crowded before being released while authorities determine their futures.

Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa routinely lie about where they come from to try to scupper attempts by the Spanish authorities to send them back to their home countries.

Spain has overtaken Italy as the preferred destination for migrant arrivals in Europe this year after Italy’s new hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini introduced a blanket ban on migrant boats entering the country’s ports.

On Sunday a group of African migrants were filmed reaching a packed tourist beach in broad daylight and jumping off their boat by the shoreline before running to hide behind cliffs.

Holidaymakers watched open-mouthed as the semi-inflatable Zodiac carrying nearly 50 Moroccans beached near a purpose-built luxury hotel area at on Spain’s Costa de la Luz.

Civil Guard officers later revealed 25 of the migrants – including 19 minors who will not be forcibly returned to Spain – had been intercepted.

The incident happened around 3.30pm on Sunday at Barrosa Beach, considered to be one of the best beaches on Spain’s southern coast and near a purpose-built residential and tourist resort called Sancti Petri which boasts shops, restaurants and several four and five-star hotels.

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