Monday 12/6/21
IMMIGRATION CRISIS

Group of migrants breaks through border amid Polish-Belarus stand-off

Polish police reported arresting four people who had been helping the migrants across the border
FILED - 11 November 2021, Poland, Kuznica: Police officers and military police check cars near the Kuznica border crossing on the border between Poland and Belarus. The migration crisis involving refugees trying to enter the European Union via Belarus has escalated on Poland's border with Belarus. Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa.
Police officers and military police check cars near the Kuznica border crossing on the border between Poland and Belarus. Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa.

A group of about 50 migrants caught up in the ongoing border stand-off between Poland and Belarus managed to push through a barrier and are in Poland, according to Polish police.

The incident happened late on Saturday near the village of Dubicze Cerkiewne. Police said on Sunday that they had rounded up 22 Iraqi nationals so far.

A separate attempt to break through the border near the town of Kolonia Klukowicze was unsuccessful, they said. But one officer was injured when the migrants threw stones at the authorities.

Polish border officials have been caught in a stand-off at the Belarusian border for weeks now, as thousands of people from third countries have shown up at the borders of Poland and countries like Lithuania and Latvia, seeking to enter EU territory.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko stands accused of bringing the people to Belarus and then sending them to the borders, using them as pawns as he retaliates against the EU for failing to recognize his election victory last year.

Dangerous situation

The EU says Lukashenko stole the election. He denies all the allegations. However, his forces are also not allowing the migrants to turn back to Belarusian territory.

The situation is growing increasingly dangerous as temperatures in the border region dip as winter nears. Many of the immigrants have no shelter, or only rudimentary set-ups.

Also on Saturday, Polish police reported arresting four people who had been helping the migrants across the border. Those arrested were two Georgians, a Pole and a Syrian.

Government statements cannot be independently assessed, as journalists and aid groups have been barred from the border region.

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