Migrants Armed With Tear Gas and Laser Attack Polish forces as Border Warfare Between Poland and Belarus Escalates

The tension at the Poland-Belarus border worsened as migrants attacked Polish forces with tear gas and lasers.

The military tension at the Belarus-Poland border escalated Friday, November 12 night. Belarusian troops destroyed part of the 120 miles of barbed wire fencing that separates the east European states. Footage released by Polish Border Force showed its troops blinded by lasers and strobe lights. DailyMail reports that Belarus armed the migrants with tear gas to attack the Polish forces once they crossed the border.

The border tension was reported near the town of Czeremcha. Hundreds of migrants passed through this frontier in recent weeks. "Last night near Czeremcha, Belarusian soldiers began to destroy the temporary border by tearing up fence posts," a spokesman for the Polish Border Force told DailyMailOnline. "Polish forces were blinded by laser beams and strobe light. Also, a group of about 100 migrants were to cross and Poland says Belarusians gave them tear gas, which was used against the Polish forces."

 Polish soldiers and police watch migrants at the Poland/Belarus border near Kuznica, Poland
Polish soldiers and police watch migrants at the Poland/Belarus border near Kuznica, Poland Screengrab - Territorial Defence Forces via Reuters

'Belarusian dictator leader Alexander Lukashenko is using migrants as pawns'

The soldiers were apparently following Belarusian dictator leader Alexander Lukashenko's orders. The European Union has accused Lukashenko of using migrants as pawns to elicit a 'hybrid attack' by helping them across the border to destabilize the EU. Tensions have worsened at the Poland-Belarus border in recent weeks. The EU has blamed Belarus for deliberately engineering a humanitarian crisis. The feud between Poland and Belarus could even see the involvement of Russia and NATO if the conditions worsened. Putin, however, insisted that Russia had nothing to do with the crisis on Belarus' border on Saturday, November 13.

Freezing conditions at the border

Thousands of migrants have accumulated at the border between Belarus and EU states Poland and Lithuania in freezing conditions. The EU states are not allowing them to cross. Many have died and more deaths are feared given the bitter winter conditions settling in. According to aid groups, some 11 deaths have been reported so far since the crisis began.

Concerns for the migrants are growing given the falling temperatures as Poland is not allowing them to cross the border and accusing Belarus of not letting them leave the border. The Polish Border Guard noted there were 219 attempts to illegally cross the border on Friday, while the Lithuanian border guard informed that 144 migrants attempted to cross the same day. Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski told private broadcaster RMF FM on Saturday that he would soon meet US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to discuss the situation.