At least 33 migrants housed in a temporary reception centre in the Spanish city of Melilla were arrested after a riot broke out that led to 21 police officers becoming injured.
The riot came after a second day of protests by migrants over positive cases of the Chinese coronavirus among some of the reception centre’s residents.
At least 200 migrants took part in the rioting, with the angry mob assaulting Spanish police officers by throwing rocks. At least two migrants were also injured during the violence, La Voz de Galicia reports.
Spanish populist party VOX posted footage of the riot on Twitter, and the party’s leader Santiago Abascal commented: “The progressive dictatorship presents them to us as poor victims, but their violence and the consequences of the invasion are suffered by the guards and ordinary Spaniards. The invaders must be deported.”
🚨 #URGENTE 🚨
⚠ 300 magrebíes llegados ilegalmente provocan un motín en el CETI de Melilla. Hay 9 agentes heridos por lanzamiento de piedras y cuchillos.
La invasión migratoria es un peligro para la salud y la seguridad de los españoles.
— vox_es 🇸 (@vox_es) August 26, 2020
Local police say the rioters caused significant damage to property in the city, one of two Spanish exclaves on the North African coast and a popular route into the European Union for illegal migrants.
The migrants have demanded that they be allowed to transfer to the Spanish mainland due to the confirmed cases of the coronavirus among them. The reception facility in Melilla is overcrowded as it is meant to hold 782 residents but currently holds 1,354 due to more and more migrants breaking through the city’s fences.
Both Melilla and its twin exclave of Ceuta have seen many riots and acts of violence against police in recent years, and the Spanish government recently stated that it will be building new 30-foot hig walls around both of centuries-old cities to frustrate further attempts by migrants to storm the border from neighbouring Morocco.
Spain to Build 30-Foot Walls Around Its African Cities to Stop Illegal Migrants https://t.co/TQUZMYuZ3D
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 22, 2020