Two hundred migrants storm Polish border
Several groups of migrants, including one consisting of some 200 people, carried out attempts to break through the Polish border from Belarus on Friday afternoon, Polish border guard have reported.
Anna Michalska, a border guard spokeswoman, reported on Saturday on the events that took place in the vicinity of Dubicze Cerkiewne, north-eastern Poland.
"The biggest group consisted of two hundred people, the other ones counted several dozen," Michalska said. "As a result, 24 people managed to penetrate the Polish territory at a distance of a dozen or so metres," she continued.
"Those people were stopped, instructed to leave Poland and escorted to the border," Michalska added.
According to Michalska, the migrants were very aggressive and threw rocks and firecrackers and discharged pepper spray at Polish border officers.
The Polish border guard called an ambulance to tend to a family with an eight-month-old child. The mother and the child were transported to hospital while the father was taken to a border guard unit.
"He will probably seek international protection," the spokeswoman said.
Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said on Saturday that the migration crisis could continue for months.
"It is a long-term scenario," Błaszczak told private radio broadcaster RMF FM.
"It won't end soon," he said. "It is evidenced by the policy of the Belarusian regime, which is able stay in power only due to support from the Kremlin."
Poland has been struggling to stem a wave of migrants, mostly from the Middle East and Africa, for several months now. However, in recent days illegal entry attempts have become much more organised and have involved large numbers of migrants, often aided by Belarusian uniformed services.
Poland, other EU members and the United States have accused the Belarusian regime of Alexander Lukashenko of instigating the crisis in order to destabilise the EU.