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Migrant girl, 17, found hiding in the glove compartment of car trying to enter Spain from Morocco without documents

A GIRL of 17 was found by border guards curled up in the foetal position behind a car's glove compartment as she tried to smuggle herself into Spain.

She was attempting to cross from Morocco into Melilla, a Spanish enclave on the north coast of Africa.

Melilla and Ceuta, another Spanish territory, are targets for migrants as they have Africa's only land border with the EU.

Police said the 4x4, driven by a Moroccan man and woman, was stopped at the Beni-Enzar border crossing on Monday.

They did not find anything suspicious in the boot or inside the car, but thought the woman passenger was "evasive", the local Melilla Hoy reports.

She avoided eye contact and refused to get out of the vehicle, according to the Spanish Civil Guard.

Border cops searched further with special machines and detected a heartbeat coming from behind the dashboard.

They then discovered the girl hidden in a makeshift double-bottomed compartment behind the glove box.

It was so small she had to curl up with her knees by her chest and nearly suffocated.

Medics treated the unnamed girl for dehydration after she was found confused, dizzy and sweating.

She had no papers, but told officers she was 17 and from Mali in West Africa.

Spanish authorities impounded the car, with Moroccan licence plates, and arrested the man and woman on suspicion of human trafficking.

It is not the first time migrants have taken extreme measures to sneak into the Spanish enclaves, which are surrounded by high razor wire and patrolled with dogs.

In November two youths from Guinea were found hidden behind the dashboard and under the seats of a car entering Melilla.

And in May a girl and two men were found hidden in a car at the same crossing - including one in the engine compartment.

Another young man was discovered behind a car dashboard in Ceuta in 2017.

Smugglers also hid a 19-year-old man and a boy aged eight in suitcases in failed bids to enter Ceuta.

Another inventing smuggler hid two men inside mattresses that were strapped to a van entering Melilla.

In August 2018 more than 100 migrants hurled battery acid at cops as they stormed the 20ft fences to get into Ceuta.

Hundreds of migrants celebrate after breaking through the border fence in the Spanish town of Ceuta