A crisis is escalating at border between Poland and Belarus and hundreds migrants are in danger

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Tensions are escalating on the border between Poland and Belarus in a weeks-long migration crisis at the border. Polish authorities accused Belarus of trying to spark a major confrontation on Monday. Groups of hundreds migrants, carrying rucksacks and weared in winter clothing escorted by armed men dressed in khaki were seen walking towards the Polish border. “Belarus wants to cause a major incident, preferably with shots fired and casualties: according to media reports, they are preparing a major provocation near Kuznica Bialostocka, that there will be an attempt at a mass border crossing,” Deputy Foreign Minister Piotr Wawrzyk told Polish public radio. A growing number of people have been illegally crossing Poland’s border from Belarus in recent weeks.The European Union also has accused Belarus of encouraging thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa, including women and children, to cross into EU countries via Belarus in revenge for Western sanctions on Minsk over human rights abuses. Poland’s Defense Minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, said thousands of soldiers were “prepared to defend the Polish border.”Polish authorities say at least seven dead migrants have been found on Poland’s side of the border.

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Facebook that “the Polish border is not just a line on a map. The border is sacred – Polish blood has been spilled for it!” There are currently around 4,500 border guards and about 9,500 Polish Army soldiers stationed at the border. Lithuania, which shares a border with both Poland and Belarus , said it was redeploying troops as tensions continue to escalate. Belarusian President Lukashenko’s government has repeatedly denied manufacturing a migrant crisis. “Belarus must stop putting people’s lives at risk. The instrumentalisation of migrants for political purposes by Belarus is unacceptable,” The European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said.

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