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THE body of a man believed to be from Nigeria was found in a forest near Poland’s border with Belarus, Polish police said today.
It is the latest death resulting from a stand-off at the European Union’s eastern border.
The death was reported a day after a humanitarian group said it believed that a four-year-old Iraqi girl has gone missing in freezing temperatures on the Polish side of the border.
The Border Group, an organisation made up of refugee rights and other human rights groups, said that the girl got separated from her parents, alleging that the parents were pushed back across the border into Belarus by Polish Border Guard officers.
But Poland’s Border Guard agency denied that, saying it had not detained any families.
It said that after receiving information that activists had given to the country’s human rights commissioner, authorities searched the area from land and air for the girl.
The Poland-Belarus border has seen a humanitarian tragedy evolving since the summer.
The EU, which has refused to allow the people to cross the borders, accuses Belarus of using the migrants as pawns in retaliation for its sanctions against Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.
Many people from the Middle East, among them Kurds from Iraq, have seized on what appeared to be an easy way to safety in western Europe, only to find their way blocked by EU border guards and endure great suffering in the border region’s forests and bogs.
The scale of migration is much smaller now than several weeks ago after airlines stopped flights from many Middle East cities to Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
Yet some people are still on the Belarus side of the border, prevented from entering Poland.
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