Rabat: At least 18 people were killed in a stampede as more than 2,000 sub-Saharan migrants tried to breach the border between Morocco and Melilla, a Spanish enclave city in Africa, state media reported.
An earlier report said five migrants were killed and 76 others injured, and 140 Moroccan security officers were wounded, including five in critical condition, reports Xinhua news agency citing state media.
A total of 13 of the injured migrants later died in hospital, raising the death toll to 18, the state media said late Friday night, citing local authorities of the province of Nador.
Moroccan security forces “intervened” when the migrants tried to scale or cut through a fence that separates the Spanish city from Moroccan territory, it said.
The Spanish authorities at the enclave said most of the migrants were forced back except for 130 of them having managed to reach the enclave.
Melilla and Ceuta, another Spanish enclave, have in recent years become a focal point for mostly sub-Saharan migrants attempting to reach Europe.