Ceuta, Spain, May 18 (EFE).- At least 6,000 migrants have illegally entered the Spanish territory of Ceuta from Morocco by swimming or wading around the coastal border fence that separates the territories, authorities said Tuesday.
It was the largest number of migrants ever to arrive on Spanish soil over the course of a single day.
Spain’s interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said 1,500 migrants had been returned to Morocco, adding that at least 1,500 minors were among those who managed to enter Ceuta, a Spanish enclave in North Africa.
The minister told Spain’s public broadcaster RTVE that 200 additional soldiers and 200 police officers would be deployed to the territory to help the roughly 1,000 agents stationed in Ceuta.
Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, on Tuesday tweeted that his priority was to restore “normality” to Ceuta.
“Its citizens should know that they have the full support of the Spanish government and its utmost dedication to ensure their safety and defend their integrity as part of the country in the face of any challenge,” he added.
Spanish troops were mobilized on Monday after the first large groups of migrants managed to breach the border, which is demarcated by a fence that extends out into the sea. EFE