''Today they were armed with sticks and stones,'' Prefect Abdelmalik El Barkani said. ''They no longer come peacefully, and this has cost the life of a person who was doing his duty to defend the border between Nador and Melilla.'' A Moroccan officer died at 3am on Tuesday in clashes between gendarmes and migrants, who were attempting a mass assault on the frontier at Beni Ansar. Melilla authorities arrested 26 migrants, and are investigating the incident, while Melilla President Juan Jose Imbroda expressed his condolences to the officer's family and praised Morocco's help in patrolling the border.
The officer had been hit with a stone, El Barkani said, adding that what happened shows the migrants ''are desperate and willing to act barbarically in order to enter Spain.'' The two countries, El Barkani added, ''will continue to work together to prevent illegal entries.'' Melilla is in high alert against possible tidal waves of migrants, hoping to prevent violence and fatalities, such as took place in 2005. Among the preventive measures, that of periodically shunting detainees from Melilla's temporary detention center, which has capacity of 800 people, to other detention centers in Spain. (ANSAMed).