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Hundreds of migrants forced their way though razor-wire barriers into Spain's North African enclave of Melilla on Wednesday, highlighting increasing pressure on a rare land-based route into Europe for illegal migrants.

More than 1,000 stormed fences into the enclave at around 12.00 a.m. ET and about 400 had managed to breach the border, the Spanish city's mayor Juan Jose Imbroda said in a radio interview.

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

Immigrants celebrate after they managed to cross the fence from Morocco into Melilla on May 28, 2014. Migrants have repeatedly tried to cross the border into the Spanish territories of Ceuta and Melilla on the northern coast of Africa, often climbing fences en masse in an attempt to overwhelm border guards.FRANCISCO G. GUERRERO / EPA

The immigrants who got into Melilla on Wednesday were heading for the city's temporary migration center. Some of those processed there make it across to mainland Spain while others are returned to Morocco.

— Reuters