The bodies of four people, apparently migrants, were discovered on Sunday at the border between Poland and Belarus, authorities in the two countries said, amid growing tensions over the migration issue.
Several thousand migrants, mostly from the Middle East, have crossed the border between Belarus and the European Union, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland in recent months. The European Union suspects the Minsk regime of encouraging these passages in retaliation for the sanctions taken against it.
” Today (Editor’s note: Sunday) the bodies of three people were discovered in the border region with Belarus, ”the Polish border guards announced in a tweet. The bodies were found in three different locations. They were “probably illegal immigrants,” border guard spokeswoman Anna Michalska told Polish agency PAP.
The body of a woman would have been “dragged”
Belarusian border guards, for their part, said they found the lifeless body of an Iraqi migrant on the border between the two countries this Sunday. “The body of a woman of non-Slavic appearance was discovered one meter from the border,” said Belarusian border guard official Yevgeny Omess, quoted by state agency Belta.
There are “clear signs” that the woman’s body was “dragged” from the Polish side of the border, he added. According to the agency, her husband said that Polish border guards drove them to the border against their will, barefoot and under threat, on the Belarusian side. According to Belta, the woman was found dead alongside three Iraqi children, a man and an elderly woman, all Iraqis.
An investigation was opened on the Belarusian side and representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) were invited to go there, according to the same source.
Eight migrants stuck in a swamp
In addition, Polish border guards said they spent several hours this Sunday rescuing eight migrants stuck in a swamp near the Suprasl river on the border with Belarus. “Eight migrants (five men and three women) were rescued, and seven of them hospitalized,” they said in a tweet. Firefighters, rescuers and police took part in the operation. Saturday was “intense”, with 324 attempts to cross the border, they added.
Faced with the recent migratory influx and tensions with Belarus, Poland introduced a state of emergency for 30 days at its border in early September. She also dispatched 2,000 troops there and began building a barbed wire fence to curb immigration.
In early August, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko ordered an investigation into the death of an Iraqi on the border with Lithuania, who had been severely beaten, according to Minsk.