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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish soldier injured amid renewed turmoil on Belarus border

24.11.2021 12:45
Poland's Border Guard agency on Wednesday said that aggressive groups of migrants had tried to cross illegally into the country from Belarus overnight as the turmoil on the frontier continued.   
Polish police help guard the countrys frontier with Belarus.
Polish police help guard the country's frontier with Belarus. PAP/MON

There were three main attempts to breach the border overnight, the state PAP news agency reported.

First, in the space of four hours on Tuesday evening, two groups of 30 to 40 migrants tried to pass through the frontier near the village of Mielniki, the Border Guard's spokeswoman, Anna Michalska, told reporters.

As migrants threw stones, pieces of wood, fire crackers and stun grenades at Polish troops and border personnel, "one soldier suffered a head injury and received medical treatment," Michalska said.

Although both these groups "managed to reach Polish territory, they were detained and escorted back to the border," she added.

Meanwhile, another "very aggressive" group, made up of some 100 migrants "assisted and helped by Belarusian soldiers," threw rocks at Polish forces as it cut through the razor-wire fence near the village of Dubicze Cerkiewne, Michalska told the media.

The attempt took place at around 8 p.m. on Tuesday evening and involved mainly Iraqi nationals, she said.

All those illegal migrants were detained on the Polish side of the border and "escorted back to the frontier," Michalska added. 

In addition, at around 1 a.m. on Wednesday Polish officers patrolling the border area spotted six individuals preparing to cross the river Bug in a pontoon, near the village of Włodawa, officials told reporters.

That attempt was also thwarted, they said. The Bug forms part of the border between Poland and Belarus.

Meanwhile, Poland's defence ministry on Wednesday said that Polish troops were "helping stop renewed illegal attempts to cross into the country," as they looked after the safety of the land "at all hours and in all weather conditions."

Diplomatic offensive in the Mideast

As part of Poland's diplomatic offensive to defuse the migration crisis, Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński has held talks with his counterparts in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, the PAP news agency reported.

Many of the migrants who have been trying to cross into the European Union from Belarus hail from that region of the world.

Jabłoński told reporters that while in Qatar on Sunday, he presented the Polish perspective on the border crisis in an interview with the Middle East's biggest TV network Al Jazeera.

Border tensions

Poland's Border Guard said on Wednesday it had recorded 267 illegal attempts to cross from Belarus over the past 24 hours.

Since the start of the year, more than 36,000 such attempts have been recorded, including around 7,000 this month alone, the agency's data showed.

Since September 2, Poland has kept the border zone under a state of emergency amid continuing migrant pressure. It is also set to build a 5.5-metre-high, 180-kilometre-long protective wall along the frontier.

The months-long migrant crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border has escalated in recent weeks, with Poland, the European Union and its member states, as well as NATO and the United States accusing Belarus strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko of orchestrating the standoff in retaliation for Western sanctions against his regime.

(pm/gs)

Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info