False alarm on Parsley Island

Guardia Civil officers landed on Perejil Island (Parsley Island), a 1.5 square kilometre piece of rock about one hundred metres off the coast of Morocco and under Spanish control since 1668, after Moroccan activists claimed to have occupied the island and hoisted two Moroccan flags.

The Guardia Civil officers found no sign of occupation and no evidence that anyone had been there.

A small group of Moroccan gendarmes occupied the island in 2002, causing a major diplomatic conflict between Spain and Morocco, which ended six days later when Prime Minister José María Aznar sent troops to retake the island and raise the Spanish flag.

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