Poland-Belarus border: Violence erupts as Polish guards fire water cannon on migrants

Polish and Belarusian authorities have blamed each other for the ratcheting of tensions on the border, the place 1000’s of individuals have traveled within the hope of creating it into the EU solely to seek out themselves caught in freezing circumstances.

There have been chaotic scenes on the Bruzgi-Kuźnica border crossing, the place crowds of migrants could possibly be seen breaking apart concrete blocks and gathering tree branches to throw towards the Polish aspect.

Loud bangs rang out over the crowds and a dense cloud of smoke hung overhead. Belarusian state media BeITA reported that the water cannons utilized by Polish forces sprayed a yellow liquid that prompted burning, and that individuals have been suffocating and feeling sick from the smoke. A CNN workforce was hit by the water fired by Polish guards.

One police officer was significantly injured after being hit by a projectile, in keeping with the Polish police.

Ladies and kids who, only a day earlier than, had been camped out in tents close to the border fence had moved again, and males, lots of them voicing their anger about being left in limbo in terrible circumstances, have been amassing in probably the most dramatic clashes to this point. “We’re preventing to remain alive,” one man informed CNN.

The Polish Border Guard stated Tuesday that migrants camped out close to the Bruzgi-Kuźnica checkpoint have been behaving “aggressively,” throwing stones and numerous objects on the Polish companies. “In an effort to stop unlawful border crossing, water cannons have been used in opposition to aggressive foreigners,” the safety company stated on Twitter.

Poland’s Ministry of Protection shared footage on Twitter displaying Polish officers and troopers standing shoulder-to-shoulder with riot shields as rocks have been lobbed over the barbed wire border fence, describing the scene as an “assault of migrants.” The ministry additionally accused Belarusian companies of equipping migrants with “stun grenades.”

The spokesperson for Poland’s safety companies, Stanisław Żaryn, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday in regards to the clashes, describing migrants as “storming the border.”

Polish officers use water cannon on migrants gathered at the Bruzgi-Kuznica checkpoint.

BelTA reported “an aggravation of the scenario” on the border on Tuesday, as migrants strive “by all means to get to Poland” and Polish authorities reply with tear fuel, stun grenades and water cannon, “pouring water on individuals within the chilly.”

“Individuals say they’re bored with ready and are prepared to interrupt by way of,” in keeping with BeITA.

It is unclear what sparked Tuesday’s confrontations however there’s a rising sense of frustration amongst migrants that Europe isn’t welcoming them.

Rumors have additionally been swirling over the previous 48 hours within the camps the place the migrants are situated that Poland was ready to open its humanitarian hall — a declare Poland says isn’t true.

The disaster has led the EU to arrange fresh sanctions on Belarus, which it accuses of producing the disaster on the bloc’s japanese frontier.

President Alexander Lukashenko’s authorities has repeatedly denied such claims, as an alternative blaming the West for the crossings and accusing it of poor therapy of migrants.

Matthew Likelihood and Antonia Mortensen reported close to the Poland-Belarus border, and Katharina Krebs reported from Moscow. Eliza Waterproof coat wrote from London.

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