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UPDATE: Belarus evacuates migrant camps at EU border

T.I Ukende
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Belarusian authorities have evacuated the two main migrant camps on the border with Poland, taking the remaining migrants who had been camped in the woods to nearby warehouses, the official Belarusian news agency Belta reported on Thursday. 

The move, if upheld, could be a major development in the border crisis, which has turned into a serious east-west confrontation in recent weeks, as migrants desperately tried to cross the border and some died from the frost in the forest. 

European countries accuse Belarus of deliberately creating the crisis by bringing in migrants from the Middle East and pushing them to attempt to illegally cross the borders of Poland and Lithuania. 

Belarus said earlier thursday it had proposed a plan to resolve the migrant crisis, which would see the EU take in 2,000 people while Minsk send 5,000 home. 

There has been no immediate response from the EU to the plan, which is accompanied by warnings and was announced shortly after the European Commission said there would be no negotiations with the Belarus on the fate of migrants. 

Hundreds of Iraqis checked in at Minsk airport on Thursday for the return flight to Iraq, the first such return flight since August.

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