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Morocco Moves African Migrants

October 08, 2005|From Associated Press

MELILLA, Spain — Hundreds of immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa were rounded up by Moroccan security forces near this Spanish enclave and taken to the desert near Algeria, a physician with the aid group Doctors Without Borders said Friday.

The immigrants were removed after nearly a dozen mass charges on the razor-wire fences that separate the Ceuta and Melilla enclaves from Morocco. More than a dozen have been killed in the border rushes, including several shot by Moroccan forces Thursday. Hundreds more have been injured.

For several years, thousands of Africans trying to get to Europe in search of work have trekked toward Spain's enclaves in northern Morocco.

Javier Gabaldon told Spanish cable network CNN+ that workers with the aid group found about 600 immigrants Friday morning hundreds of miles from Melilla.

"We were practically mobbed by them. Many of them are injured and need urgent treatment," Gabaldon told the network in a telephone interview from southeastern Morocco.

Morocco has promised shelter, medical care and humane treatment for deported immigrants, the nation's official MAP news agency reported Friday.

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