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3 migrants hidden in cars at Spain-Morocco border

MADRID: Three African migrants, including one who is 15, were discovered squeezed inside compartments under car dashboards and behind seats at a border crossing from Morocco to Spain, police said yesterday. Spanish police found a 15-year-old girl and two men aged 20 and 21, Friday morning when they searched three cars at the border between Morocco and the Spanish territory of Melilla, a spokesman for the Guardia Civil police force said.

MELILLA, Spain: Handout pictures made available yesterday show members of the Spanish Guardia Civil checking inside a compartment built behind a car dashboard, where African migrants were squeezed. — AFP

Two migrants were found crammed inside tiny spaces installed under car dashboards while a third was hidden in a compartment behind the rear seat of one vehicle, a Guardia Civil statement said. Two of the migrants required medical attention because they showed “symptoms of asphyxia, disorientation and generalized pain in the joints due to horrible way in which they were traveling,” the statement added. Police arrested the three drivers, all Moroccan men aged 19-31, on suspicion of people smuggling.

Border police also found a 20-year-old migrant on Friday hanging from the undercarriage of a truck at the border crossing. Spain’s two North African enclaves, Melilla and Ceuta, have the European Union’s only land borders with Africa. They are often used as entry points into Europe for African migrants, who usually either climb over border fences or try to swim along the coast. – AFP

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