Belarus migrants: Poland faces fresh border breaches

Poland faced “many attempts” to breach the border with Belarus overnight into Wednesday but now has 15,000 troops to repel them, said the defence minister.

At least 2,000 migrants have become stranded at the border, at the centre of an escalating international row.

The UN, Nato and the US accuse Belarus of orchestrating the crisis, while Poland blames Russia’s President Putin.

Poland and Belarus have accused each other of using violence at the border.

Media has been barred from reaching the scene because of Poland’s state of emergency in the area.

However, Poland’s defence ministry tweeted a video, alleging that a Belarusian soldier had fired a shot to intimidate the migrants camped near the razor-wire fence.

“It wasn’t a calm night. Indeed, there were many attempts to breach the Polish border,” said defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak.

Police spoke of two separate incidents involving groups of about 50 people. Meanwhile, the border guard said in the past day there had been 599 attempts to cross illegally and that nine people, all from the Middle East, had been detained.

The defence minister said earlier attempts had focused on the area around a big border crossing at Kuznica but that had now changed.

Aid workers complain that Poland’s state of emergency means they are unable to enter the affected area: “For us it is heartbreaking. We are here, near the border and we cannot enter the zone and help people. We can only help those who manage to cross the border and make it out of the restricted area,” said Chmielewska.

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