Strong police presence needed at western border migrant centre

Nearly 600 police took part on Thursday in an operation aimed at quelling the disturbances at a guarded refugee centre in Wedrzyn, western Poland, a spokesman for the Lubuskie province police said on Friday.

"Thanks to the effective and professional actions taken by the police and border guards, the situation has been stabilised," Marcin Maludy said, adding that "a strong police presence is still at the site."

On Thursday, a group of the most aggressive migrants left their building and started to shout slogans demanding their immediate release from the centre.

They tried to leave the centre, tearing down and destroying a fence as well as smashing windows. Since they refused to obey orders, additional border guards and police had been sent to quieten the situation.

"The most important thing is that no one managed to escape," Maludy stated.

There are 604 people currently at the centre, including 359 Iraqis and 69 Afghan nationals. They are all male, sent to the centre by court order.

Poland has been struggling to stem a wave of migrants trying to cross its eastern border from Belarus. EU members accuse the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, of instigating the crisis in order to destabilise the bloc.