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 - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.11.2021
Poland-Belarus Migrant Crisis
Tensions on the Belarusian-Polish border flared up in November as Middle Eastern and African refugees started arriving in Belarus to cross into the EU. Warsaw claims Belarus orchestrated the crisis, while Minsk blames the Western military ops for the growing migrant flow.

Belarus Accuses Polish Military of Shooting at Migrants to Prevent Border Crossing

© LEONID SHCHEGLOVA picture taken on November 8, 2021 shows Poland's law enforcement officers watching migrants at the Belarusian-Polish border.
A picture taken on November 8, 2021 shows Poland's law enforcement officers watching migrants at the Belarusian-Polish border.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.11.2021
MINSK (Sputnik) - The Polish security forces used bursts of automatic weapon fire last night to prevent migrants from crossing the border, the State Border Committee of Belarus said on Wednesday.
"A group of desperate migrants decided to independently proceed to the territory of Poland. People were pushed to do so by a desperate situation, in which they found themselves due to the lack of legal opportunity to apply for protection in the European Union. This time, the Polish security forces met the refugees with automatic bursts of fire," the Belarusian agency said on Telegram.
Belarusian border guards "covered the area in order to thwart possible provocations," the statement added.
More than 2,000 migrants are currently stranded on the Belarus-Poland border, accommodated in a shelter arranged by the Belarusian authorities. Following several attempts to force their way over the border, Poland increased its security presence to thwart illegal crossings.
The Polish government has accused Minsk of fostering the migrant flow, while the Belarusian government accused Polish board guards of forcibly pushing migrants back onto the Belarusian side.
The Belarusian Investigative Committee said on Wednesday that it is conducting an inspection of riot control weapons deployed by Polish border guards against migrants on the night of November 23.
A Polish soldier on duty near a camp of illegal migrants on the Belarusian-Polish border - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.11.2021
French Foreign Minister Hopes Putin Puts Pressure on Belarus to Resolve Migrant Crisis
Earlier in the day, the Polish Border Guard reported that migrants were continuing their attempts to force their way over the Belarusian-Polish border. In guarded areas of Dubicze Cerkiewne and Mielnik, groups of aggressive foreigners were agitating at the border. The Polish border guards detected 267 attempts to cross illegally over the past day.

"The investigation established that on the night of November 23, at Tokari frontier guard in the Kamyanyetskiy district, a group of foreign migrants was standing near the Polish fence. People were asking for asylum in Poland, not spoiling for a fight. Polish security forces used tear gas and threw smoke charges onto Belarusian territory against unarmed migrants," the committee stated in a press release.

All the objects seized during inspection of the scene will undergo analysis, and eyewitnesses to the incident have testified, according to the statement. It was previously established that no one requested medical assistance after the incident.

Over the last few weeks, thousands of migrants from the Middle East have amassed at the border between Belarus and Poland in hopes of entering the European Union. Poland strengthened their border guard and deployed the military to prevent illegal border crossings. Warsaw accuses Minsk of facilitating the migration crisis, but the Belarusian government denies the allegation.
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