WARSAW – Polish divers found the body of a 19-year-old Syrian man in a river on the Polish-Belarusian border on Wednesday, state news agency PAP reported, citing police and border guards.
Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have reported sharp increases in migrants from countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq trying to cross their frontiers from Belarus, in what Warsaw and Brussels say is a form of hybrid warfare designed to put pressure on the EU over sanctions it imposed on Minsk.
The border guard have been looking for the man since Tuesday when they caught another Syrian who said he was pushed into the river by Belarusian services together with another man, PAP reported.
Divers found the body on Wednesday in the river Bug, which forms part of the border between Poland and Belarus.
“His identity was confirmed by the other young man with whom he tried to illegally cross the Bug a day earlier. We also found documents on the body. So there is no doubt that’s the 19-year-old Syrian citizen,” Lublin region police spokesman Andrzej Fijolek told PAP.
He added an investigation would be conducted into the death.
Rights groups have criticised Poland’s nationalist government over its treatment of migrants at the border, with accusations of multiple illegal pushbacks. Six people have been previously found dead near the border since the surge of migrants.
(Reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk; Editing by Sandra Maler)