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Poland requests state of emergency on Belarus border amid migrant surge

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The Polish government asked the president on Tuesday to declare a state of emergency in two regions on its border with Belarus after the Polish Border Guard said hundreds of illegal crossings had taken place this month.

Poland began building a barbed wire fence last week along the border in an effort to curb the flow of migrants from countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan crossing from Belarus.

A state of emergency would give authorities broader powers to monitor and control people’s movements.

President Andrzej Duda, a close ally of the ruling nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS), is likely to approve the state of emergency, which would last for 30 days and cover parts of the Podlaskie and Lubelskie regions.

“The situation on the border with Belarus is a crisis and is still tense,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a news conference as he announced the move.

Relations between the European Union and Belarus have worsened sharply over the past year since President Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory in an election his opponents and Western countries say was rigged.

via Reuters