Belarusian guards cross into Lithuania with migrants


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SULAIMANI — Border guards from Belarus entered Lithuania as they pushed dozens of migrants across the countries' shared frontier, Vilnius' interior minister said Tuesday (August 17).

"We cannot tolerate such brazen provocation when 12 Belarusian guards crossed the Republic of Lithuania's border today," Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite said in a statement.

The ministry said the guards, armed with shields and riot gear, crossed into Lithuania's southwestern Salcininkai region as they forced the 35 migrants across the border.

Lithuania's border protection agency posted a video of the incident to social media, which noted that a video put up by the Belarusian side did not show the migrants were forced to cross.

Vilnius said the guards returned to Belarusian territory after repeated warnings, adding that it has upgraded surveillance of the border.

In a similar incident last week, a surveillance camera saw one Belarusian guard step briefly across the border before returning.

According to official data published Tuesday, over 4,000 migrants have entered Lithuania illegally so far this year, including almost 2,800 Iraqis.

(NRT Digital Media/AFP)