The accusation by Poland suggests an apparent change of tactics this week by Minsk. The country has not resolved the border crisis, which has spiralled into a major East-West confrontation.

Polish Border Guard spokesperson Anna Michalska said Belarus authorities had brought in a group of hundreds of people by bus to try to cross close to the Polish village of Dubicze Cerkiewne

 

 

POLISH BORDER GUARD SPOKESPERSON, ANNA MICHALSKA, SAYING:

"On 18th November, there were 255 attempts to illegally cross the Polish border from Belarus. 45 migrants were given expulsion orders and banned from entering Poland and the area for a period of three years. In November, we've had 6,300 such attempts, in total and 35,400 from the beginning of 2021".

 

 

The spokesperson also stated that the Belarusian border guards were assisting the migrants by blinding Polish officers with lasers.

 

(Polish) POLISH BORDER GUARD SPOKESPERSON, ANNA MICHALSKA, SAYING:

"Near Dubicze Cerkiewne a group of 500 people, that initially counted around 100, but later more people were brought in by buses so the group grew to around 500 individuals, that group tried to cross the border supported by the Belarusian officers who blinded the Polish border guards with lasers. Also, someone used tear gas against the Polish officers".

 

(Polish) POLISH BORDER GUARD SPOKESPERSON, ANNA MICHALSKA, SAYING:

"Some members of the group threw a wooden log across the barbed wire fence but our officers removed the log and pushed them away. Later some of the migrants were carried away by the Belarusian trucks and the rest of them, around 400 people, withdrew into Belarusian territory. We observed them as they walked along the borderline for some time until they disappeared."

Belarus authorities cleared the main camps on Thursday where thousands of people had been huddling by the Polish border. Hundreds of Iraqis were also sent home on the first repatriation flight from Minsk in months.