SPAIN’S border guards have been banned from firing rubber bullets at migrants attempting to swim into its North African territories.
At least 15 migrants drowned on February 6 while trying to swim to Ceuta but officials remain adamant this was not due to the rubber bullets fired, which can be seen in videos released by the interior ministry.
Every year thousands of Africans try to cross over into Ceuta and Melilla, two Spanish territories surrounded by Morocco and the Mediterranean.
“The Civil Guard has prohibited its agents from using rubber bullets to ward off attempts by immigrants to cross the borders of Ceuta and Melilla,” said an interior ministry spokesman.
More than 100 sub-Saharan migrants recently managed to gain entry to Melilla by mass storming the border fence, while at least 90 others failed and were detained by Moroccan authorities.
The migrants targeted two different sections off barbed wire fence and reportedly threw sticks and rocks at Spanish and Moroccan police in a very violent manner.
The Moroccan interior ministry said at least 27 people had been wounded, including 13 members of its security forces hit by rocks thrown by those attempting to cross the border.