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Polish soldier stabbed by migrant at Belarus border dies

Poland detains suspected Norwegian 'neo-Nazi' trying to join Ukraine legion
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A Polish soldier stabbed by a migrant at the border with Belarus has died, the army command said on Thursday, amid concerns Russia is orchestrating an influx of migrants into Poland.

Warsaw has accused Moscow of what it called attempts to smuggle thousands of people from Africa to Europe by flying them to Russia and then sending them to Poland’s border with Kremlin ally Belarus.

Last week, the Polish army said a soldier was seriously wounded after being “stabbed by a migrant on the Belarusian side”.

On Thursday, the army announced his death.

“Despite the help provided in the area of the thuggish attack on the border with Belarus and the efforts of doctors, his life could not be saved,” the general command said in a statement.

Local media said the soldier was patrolling the area when he was stabbed through a five-metre-high (16-foot-high) metal fence, which Poland erected in 2022 to deter migrants.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk offered condolences to the soldier’s family.

“A young soldier, Mateusz, gave his life defending the border of the Republic of Poland. The homeland and his compatriots will not forget this sacrifice,” he said on X, formerly Twitter.

The Polish army also reported last week two other attacks on troops at the border, with one soldier stabbed by a knife fixed to a stick and another suffering “facial injuries” after being attacked with a broken bottle.

According to the Polish border guard agency, more than 17,000 attempts to cross the border from Belarus have been detected this year.

Last month, Warsaw announced it would spend more than 2.3 billion euros ($2.5 billion) on fortifying its eastern border that it said Russia has used to destabilise the region with hybrid attacks.

“It is the Russian state… that is behind the organisation of the recruitment, transport and attempts to smuggle thousands of people” into Europe, Tusk said last month.

He added that “more than 90 percent of those who cross the Polish border illegally are people with Russian visas”.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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