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Warsaw Says Shots, Likely Blanks, Fired From Belarus At Polish Troops

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has voiced support for the troops guarding the Belarusian frontier.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has voiced support for the troops guarding the Belarusian frontier from illegal migration after reports that Belarusian forces allegedly fired shots -- possibly blank ammunition -- at Polish servicemen.

Morawiecki tweeted that "all state powers" were behind the border guards and the military.

Earlier on October 8, Polish Border Guards spokeswoman Anna Michalska said Belarusian forces fired shots across the European Union's eastern border on October 7, without specifying what forces were targeted.

Michalska said no one was injured and that most probably blank ammunition was used.

"I am and I always will be firmly with our soldiers and our Border Guards," Morawiecki said on Twitter. "I want to thank our services for their professional and responsible approach."

The Polish Foreign Ministry also summoned Alyaksandr Chasnowski, the chargé d'affaires of Belarus in Poland, "in connection with the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border and the aggressive actions of the Republic of Belarus against Poland," the ministry said in a statement, without elaborating.

In Belarus, State Border Guard Committee spokesman Anton Bychkouski rejected the claim, saying that the Belarusian border guards hadn't used weapons over the last 24 hours.

Bychkouski said that the committee had officially asked the Polish authorities to specify their claim, according to the Russian state news agency TASS.

EU members Poland and Lithuania are facing a surge in migrants, mainly from Iraq and Afghanistan, crossing over from Belarus in what European officials say is retaliation by Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka for sanctions against him and his regime by the bloc.

Both countries have declared states of emergency that deny entry to some border regions to anyone except border guards and the security services.

They are also building razor-wire fences along their border with Belarus.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Belarus Service and Reuters
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