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Iraq sends extra planes to Belarus to repatriate migrants

military plane
(Photo: Jordan News)
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraq is sending more planes to Belarus to repatriate more than 800 migrants stuck on the border with Poland, adding to around 1,000 already collected since operations started, authorities said Friday.اضافة اعلان

Hundreds of Iraqis, most of them Kurds, have been flown back since repatriation flights began on November 18 from the ex-Soviet state.
Thousands of migrants have been camped on the border there for weeks hoping to enter the European Union, often in bitter conditions — with those returning to Iraq showing injuries from the freezing cold.

Another flight on Friday will bring 431 people, followed by a flight on Saturday to collect 430 more, foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed al-Sahaf said.
Most of the thousands of Iraqis stranded on the border say they have spent their savings, sold valuables, and even taken loans to escape economic hardship in Iraq and start a new life in the EU.

The West accuses Belarus of bringing in would-be migrants — mostly from the Middle East — under the false pretense they would be to cross into EU members Poland and Lithuania.

Belarus has denied the claim and criticized the EU for not taking in the migrants.

Aid groups say at least 11 migrants have died on the two sides of the border since the crisis began in the summer, and have criticized the Polish government over its policy of pushing migrants back.

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