Polish police found the body of a young Syrian man in the woods near the Belarus border as tensions continue to mount about the migrant crisis in the region.
The death brings to at least nine the number of migrants who have died amid a political standoff at the European Union’s eastern border, the Associated Press reported.
The authoritarian leader of Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko, has for months encouraged illegal migration across its borders with EU nations Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, luring desperate people from Mideast countries with lax visas.
In response, all three countries have bolstered their borders with troops, forcing hundreds of people to huddle around campfires in freezing temperatures in nearby forests. British military engineers arrived Friday to assist the Polish troops.
The situation has alarmed the White House and encouraged Russia to send troops to the border region in support of Belarus.
Polish police said the 20-year-old man’s body was found Friday near the village of Wólka Terechowska. An autopsy will determine the cause of death.
Belarus said Saturday that more migrants were arriving at the makeshift camp daily, and that a group of up to 100 had crossed into Polish territory.