Attacks stop Polish NGO work near Belarus border

This Polish NGO says it has halted its work helping migrants trapped near the border with Belarus

after its vehicles were attacked with knives and axes.

Jakub Sieczko, the coordinator of the group Medics on the Border, said on Monday (November 15) safety had to come first.

"In a situation when our team's cars were attacked with axes and knives, we had a right – and this was also confirmed by our security specialist – to be afraid that next time it will be we who are attacked, not the cars. Unfortunately, we had to make an extremely difficult decision that our work on the border must stop in its current form. From Tuesday (November 16) morning, the Polish Center for International Help will take over our work."

Medics on the Border said it had given assistance to about 300 people, and about 10 to 20 had to be admitted to a hospital.

Thousands of migrants have travelled to Belarus in the hope of crossing into the European Union, only to find themselves stuck on the border in freezing conditions.

The EU, which has sanctioned Belarus for human rights abuses, accuses Minsk of luring migrants from war-torn, deprived countries and sending them as "pawns" to cross into Poland.

Minsk denies manufacturing a migrant crisis and blames the West for their treatment.

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