Poland feared a 'major catastrophe' as migrants from Belarus headed for the border

Polish authorities have blamed Belarus for trying to provoke a major war on Monday as photos on social media show hundreds of migrants

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Polish authorities have blamed Belarus for trying to provoke a major war on Monday as photos on social media show hundreds of migrants heading for the Polish border.

In one video, shared by the Belarusian blogging service NEXTA, migrants carrying sacks and wearing winter clothes were seen walking along the highway.

Some videos show large groups of immigrants sitting on the side of the road accompanied by armed men wearing khaki.

"Belarus wants to create a bigger and better conflict, with more gunfire and deaths: according to media reports, they are preparing for a major offensive near Kuznica Bialostocka, that there will be an attempt to cross the border," said Deputy Foreign Minister Piotr Wawrzyk. Polish community radio.

Deputy Interior Minister Maciej Wasik wrote on Twitter that "the Polish authorities are ready for any situation."

Picture: Immigrants appear on the Belarus side of the border with Poland near Kuznica Bialostocka

Hundreds of migrants showed up on the Belarus side of the border with Poland on Monday.Reuters

The European Union (EU) has accused Belarus of encouraging thousands of immigrants from the Middle East and Africa to cross over to the EU via Belarus, as a mixed-race war to retaliate against Western sanctions in Minsk for human rights abuses.

The government of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has repeatedly denied involvement in the immigration crisis, blaming the West for cross-border migration.

The Belarusian regional border committee issued a statement confirming that a large group of refugees were traveling along the main road to the Polish border, and said Warsaw was adopting "an inhuman attitude."

E.A.

Polish soldiers appear to be building a razor fence nearby

Polish troops were seen building a razor fence on the Belarus border near the town of Minkowce in September. Attila Husejnow / SOPA / LightRocket with Getty Images file

Humanitarian organizations say migrants face difficult conditions as they try to cross the border from Belarus, enduring cold weather and lack of food, water and health care.

Polish authorities say at least seven migrants have been found dead on the Polish side of the border, with unconfirmed reports of mass deaths in Belarus.

Humanitarian groups have accused Polish nationalists of violating international asylum rights by forcing immigrants to return to Belarus instead of accepting their requests for protection. Poland says its actions are legal.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Facebook that "the Polish border is not just a line on the map. The border is sacred - the blood of Poland has been shed for it!"