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Iranian woman shot on Polish-Belarusian border as tensions rise

Shooting further inflames already tense situation on Polish-Belarusian border

10:17 - 22/06/2024 Saturday
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File photo
File photo

A 35-year-old Iranian woman has reportedly been shot in the eye on the Polish-Belarusian border and is currently in hospital, the Egala Association, which provides assistance to migrants, posted on social media Friday.

The organization, citing the woman's account, said she was near the fence when, "suddenly, without any warning, a shot was fired." According to the woman's account, "the shot was fired by one of two uniformed people on the Polish side of the fence."

The spokeswoman for the Podlasie Border Guards, Major Katarzyna Zdanowicz, said that border guards from Dubicze Cerkiewne had received a report about a woman with an eye injury near the border. “The Border Guard patrol sent to the site decided to immediately call an ambulance for the foreign woman, who is currently in hospital,” she said.

The spokeswoman of the 16th Pomeranian Mechanized Division, Major Magdalena Koscinska, told Polish press agency PAP that the army had not taken part in this incident.

“There were no soldiers there at the time of this incident. The woman was spotted by a police patrol and the Border Guard was notified. The woman was taken care of and taken to hospital. The soldiers were not involved there,” Koscinska said, adding that the woman was shot with a pellet gun, and the army does not have such weapons.

Tensions have risen in Poland after three soldiers were arrested two weeks ago by military police for firing warning shots at a group of people trying to force their way across the border from Belarus.

News site Onet reported that at the turn of March and April, the three soldiers were detained after firing warning shots into the air and ground near a group of 50 people.

Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz said this week in a statement that the situation was “unacceptable” and needed “to be fully explained. Soldiers guarding state security must be sure that legal procedures protect them,” wrote the minister. “I will always stand on the side of the honor of Polish soldiers.”

The government reintroduced a 90-day exclusion zone banning people from approaching the Polish side of the border on June 13 after a Polish soldier died after being stabbed over the border fence.

#Iranian woman
#Polish-Belarusian border
#tensions
23 days ago