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Moroccan, Spanish stave off major bid by African migrants to enter Spanish enclave

Spanish officials say several hundred African migrants have tried to climb barbed-wire fences to enter the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco. Most were turned back by security forces from both sides.

An Interior Ministry spokesman in Melilla said the migrants attempted to scale the fences several times early Friday and a handful managed to get across.

The ministry said Moroccan forces kept back more than 1,000 who made similar attempts Thursday.

Thousands of migrants seeking a better life in Europe are living illegally in Morocco, hoping they can enter Melilla or Spain's other north African coastal enclave, Ceuta.

Morocco and Spain have stepped up vigilance since Feb. 6 when 15 migrants drowned trying to enter Ceuta.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with ministry regulations.