UK
28/05/2014 15:50 BST | Updated 28/05/2014 15:59 BST

More Than 1,000 Migrants Storm Razor-Wire Wall Into Spanish Exclave Of Melilla

It could be a scene from an action movie, but this is the moment hundreds of Sub-Saharan refugees stormed Spain's North African exclave of Melilla.

It was midnight when more than 1,000 charged the 20-foot barbed wire wall. The men clung desperately to the razor-sharp barriers, hoisting themselves and others over and into Europe. It is a rare land route into the continent for African migrants who enter the territory through Morocco.

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Sub-Saharan migrants scale a metallic fence that divides Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla

Wild celebrations followed for those who made it, many of whom have travelled hundreds of miles.

The tactic of springing the fence en masse to overwhelm border guards has been used several times in the past, but rarely in such great numbers.

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A migrant celebrates as he makes it over the the fence

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A sub-Saharan migrant runs toward a Temporary Centre for Immigrants after scaling the fence

Under half have made it over the €33 million border fence, with others failing to make the climb, some driven back by border guards. Around 400 managed to breach the border, according to the Spanish city's mayor Juan Jose Imbroda.

"There were waves (of people), they were difficult to stop," Imbroda said, quoted by Reuters.

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The razor-wire fence is 20-foot high and cost millions to construct

The numbers who made it over the fence are headed for the city's temporary migration centre, some destined for potential asylum in Spain, others will be returned to Morocco. Around a dozen are being treated for injuries sustained during the climb, AP said.

The immigration centre in Melilla is built to house 480 immigrants, now it holds around 2,000, Imbroda said.

"Imagine the huge problem we will have this morning with 400 more on top of the 2,000 people already there."

Both countries have heightened security and efforts to discourage asylum seekers from making the dangerous crossing by land or sea. On Wednesday, Tangiers authorities found two bodies of migrants who had drowned after their boat sank Tuesday night, eight others were rescued. One woman remains missing.