WARSAW, Poland (AP) – The bodies of three foreigners were found at various locations near Poland’s eastern border with Belarus on Sunday and nine others have been hospitalized, the country’s border guards said.
In one case, local police spokeswoman Edyta Pacuk told Regional Radio 5 that locals picking mushrooms in the forest near the Polish border with Belarus and Lithuania met three Iraqi men, including one was dead. The other two men were taken into police custody and hospitalized.
Border guard spokeswoman Anna Michalska told The Associated Press that the bodies of two other foreigners were also found near the border with Belarus.
Prosecutors have opened investigations into the three deaths, border guards said on Twitter.
In a separate incident, eight migrants – three women and five men – who got stranded in the swamps near the Polish border with Belarus were rescued on Sunday thanks to the joint efforts of border guards, police, firefighters, army and airborne ambulance services, Michalska told the Polish. media. Seven of the migrants were taken to hospital.
Members of the European Union, Poland and Lithuania, face increasing migratory pressures on their borders with Belarus, which form part of the bloc’s eastern border. They say it is a “hybrid attack” by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime in Minsk which aims to destabilize the 27-country EU.
Poland and Lithuania are building barbed wire fences, increasing border patrols and establishing a temporary state of emergency along their borders to end illegal migration.
Michalska said more than 3,800 attempted illegal crossings from Belarus had been foiled so far in September, more than 320 on Saturday alone.
Follow all of AP’s stories on global migration at https://apnews.com/hub/migration.