Poland-Belarus border: Violence erupts as Polish soldiers fire water cannons at migrants

The Polish and Belarusian authorities have blamed each other for border tension, where thousands have traveled in hopes of entering the EU only to find themselves trapped in freezing conditions.

The Polish Border Force said on Tuesday that migrants camped near the Kuźnica-Bruzgi border crossing engaged in “aggressive” acts, throwing stones and various objects at Polish authorities. The security service said on Twitter: “To prevent illegal border crossings, water cannons were used against aggressive foreigners.

The Polish Ministry of Defense shared footage on Twitter showing Polish officers and soldiers standing shoulder to shoulder with riot shields as rocks were fenced over the border fence with barbed wire, describing the scene. as a “migrant attack.” Ministry also accused Belarusian services equip migrants with “stun grenades”.

A spokesman for Poland’s security services, Stanisław Żaryn, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday about the clashes, describing the migrants as “bending into the border.”

On the Belarus side, there were chaotic scenes as crowds of migrants could be seen breaking concrete blocks and gathering tree branches to throw at Poland across the street. Women and children have been moved back from the border fence, and men, many of whom are expressing anger, are accumulating.

“We are fighting to survive,” one man told CNN.

Belarusian state media BelTA reported “the situation worsened” at the border on Tuesday, as migrants tried “by all means to reach Poland” and Polish authorities responded with tear gas. , stun grenades and water cannons, “to pour water on people in the cold.”

“People say they are tired of waiting and ready to break out,” according to BeITA.

It is not clear what sparked Tuesday’s confrontations, but a growing number of migrants are frustrated that Europe is not welcoming to them.

In the last 48 hours there have also been rumors about camps inhabited by migrants that Poland is preparing to open humanitarian corridors – a claim Poland says is untrue.

Matthew Chance and Antonia Mortensen reported near the Polish-Belarusian border, and Katharina Krebs reported from Moscow. Eliza Mackintosh writes from London.


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