Belarus is launching an investigation into what it calls the “incident” at the Belarus-Polish border earlier Tuesday, the official representative of the State Border Committee, Anton Bychkovsky, told Belarus state media outlet BelTA. Violence erupted as migrants threw stones at Polish border guards who responded with tear gas and water cannon.
Bychkovsky said the flare-up was instigated by the Polish side and accused them of "violent actions" against migrants on the border.
"In fact, the fence is on Polish territory, so Belarusian border guards have no legal right to approach it. To push back the migrants, the Polish side used tear gas," Bychkovsky said.
"This angered the refugees even more, who began throwing stones, sticks, everything that came to hand at a critical moment, including shoes, at the security forces. In response, the Polish side fired water cannon jets and stun grenades at the unarmed refugees."
Belarus authorities recorded the use of special equipment by the Polish security forces against unarmed people on the Belarusian side, he said.
“This is regarded as nothing other than violent actions against persons who are on the territory of another country. The Belarusian side is initiating an investigation of this incident,” Bychkovsky announced.