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Poland turns water cannon on rock-throwing migrants at border By Reuters


© Reuters. A still image, taken from a handout video released by the Polish Defence Ministry, shows Polish law enforcement officers, who stand guard and use a water cannon on migrants at Kuznica – Bruzgi checkpoint on the Polish-Belarusian border, Poland, November 1

WARSAW (Reuters) – Polish security forces turned water cannon on migrants who threw rocks from across the Belarusian border, where thousands have gathered in chaotic attempts to cross into the European Union, video footage shared by authorities showed on Tuesday.

The crisis has led the EU to prepare further sanctions against Belarus, which it accuses of attempting to destabilise the bloc by pushing migrants across the border illegally.

Footage shared by a Polish government spokesperson and the Ministry of Defence showed a further escalation of the crisis at the border, where migrants have assembled in growing numbers on the Belarusian side in the last week.

“Attention, attention, if you don’t follow orders, force will be used against you,” said a loudspeaker message directed at migrants throwing objects, according to the footage, which was shown on public broadcaster TVP.

The EU says Belarus is encouraging migrants to cross the border in revenge for earlier sanctions over a crackdown on protests last year against President Alexander Lukashenko’s contested re-election.

Belarus, a close Russian ally, said assertions it had fuelled the border crisis were “absurd”.

Poland’s Ministry of Defence said in a tweet that Belarusian authorities had given migrants sound grenades to throw at Polish soldiers and border guards.

According to Polish authorities, more than 20,000 Polish security service members from the police, border guard or army are reinforcing the border where migrants have gathered near a crossing at the Polish town of Kuznica.

In Lithuania, authorities said the situation was under control, with a deputy interior minister saying that they had caught 47 people who had attempted to approach the border.

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