Polish police say they have found another dead person near Poland's border with neighboring Belarus. Over the past six months, at least 19 bodies have been found in the Polish-Belarusian border region, all are presumed to be of migrants who tried to reach the EU.
The body of the man was found in a swampy and difficult to access area near the small Polish town of Tolipo, a police spokesperson told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) on Monday (February 21).
Given the passport discovered on his body, the victim is likely a 26-year-old man from Yemen.
While Tolipo is located some 180 kilometers east of Poland's capital Warsaw, the place where the body was found is only three kilometers away from the border with Belarus.
Last September, four bodies, presumed to be of migrants, were first discovered in the Polish-Belarusian border region -- three Iraqi men and one Iraqi woman. Among the other victims was a Nigerian man whom Polish authorities found in forest near the border in December.
At least 19 people have died since the beginning of the border standoff between Poland and Belarus, The Guardian reported earlier this month. Most of them likely froze to death. Rights and aid groups have warned that the death toll could be even higher.
Fewer migrant arrivals
Since May 2021, thousands of migrants have been trying to reach Poland, Lithuania and Latvia -- all members of the European Union -- via Belarus, sparking a humanitarian crisis as they remained stranded on the EU external border for weeks in freezing conditions.
The EU has been accusing Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko of encouraging migrants from countries like Iran and Afghanistan to fly to the capital Minsk and ferrying them to the EU's external borders.
Lately, the number of irregular migrant arrivals have decreased significantly. This week, the Polish border guard said on Twitter it registered 66 crossing attempts within 48 hours.
In January, the number of irregular migrant arrivals at the EU's eastern border -- Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and the three Baltic countries -- was down by 74% compared to the same month in 2021, according to Frontex data.