Spain laments use of rubber bullets in enclave

MADRID (AP) — Spain's interior minister acknowledged Monday that police should not have fired rubber bullets to try to deter migrants trying to enter Spain's northwest African enclave of Ceuta by sea last month, when at least 15 people drowned.

Jorge Fernandez Diaz told Onda Cero radio that in retrospect rubber bullets were unlikely to deter the dozens of sub-Saharan migrants trying to swim around a border pier from Morocco to Spain on Feb. 6.

Spain has consistently defended police action on the day despite criticism from the European Union and rights groups who said the bullets could have played a role in the drownings.

Thousands of migrants seeking a better life in Europe live illegally in Morocco and regularly try to enter Ceuta and Spain's other Mediterranean coastal enclave, Melilla.

Several hundred migrants tried to scale the border fences of Melilla late Sunday with 15 managing to get across, said the city's Interior Ministry delegate, Alfredo Menendez.

He said Moroccan security forces had thwarted other attempts by hundreds of migrants earlier in the day.

Those that cross into the enclaves are normally placed in centers while authorities try to repatriate them.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Top Stories

  • No Pressure
    Danny O'Neil says the Seahawks need to get their pass rush going in a hurry

  • Week In Photos
    Gisele Bundchen leaps for joy and other stunning images from around the world
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.