Belarus says migrant woman found dead on Poland border

Ex-Soviet Belarus said Sunday that it discovered the body of a dead Iraqi woman on its border with Poland, a week after Warsaw imposed a state of emergency following an influx of migrants.

In recent months thousands of migrants -- mainly from the Middle East -- have crossed or tried to cross the border from Belarus into the neighbouring EU member states of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. 

The EU suspects the influx is being orchestrated by Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko in retaliation against sanctions on his regime.

"Today, on September 19, the body of a woman of non-Slavic appearance was discovered within a metre of the Belarus-Poland border," a border official told state news agency Belta.

The acting head of the "Usovo" border post, Yevgeny Omes, said there were "clear signs" on the ground of the body being "dragged" from Poland into Belarus.

Belta said that three children, a man and an elderly woman were found near the body. They are all Iraqi citizens, Belta added.

Belta reported that the dead woman's husband said that Polish law enforcement drove them to the border and "under threat" forced them to cross over to the Belarusian side.

Poland last week imposed a 30-day emergency measure that bans non-residents from the area along its border with Belarus, the first time the country has used such measures since the fall of Communism in 1989.

It has also sent thousands of soldiers to the border and started building a barbed wire fence.

In early August, Belarus said it discovered a dead Iraqi man near its border with Lithuania, claiming he was murdered.

Western governments have slapped Belarus with several sets of sanctions over a crackdown on dissent that began when protests erupted across the country following a disputed election last year.

Topics: Belarus , Latvia , Lithuania , Poland , European Union
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