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Lithuania readies for more migrants entering via Belarus

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — Lithuania will set up a border tent village to shelter increasing numbers of asylum-seekers from third countries who are entering through neighboring Belarus, officials said Thursday.

Authorities in the small Baltic country have suggested that the Belarusian government — with which relations are tense following a crackdown on opposition supporters in Belarus — could be involved in the increase seen in recent days.

“We are almost full. We need a tent camp to take the foreigners. The new camp will be able to house up to 350 people,” said Aleksandras Kislovas, head of the Lithuanian immigration authority’s local office near the southern border with Belarus.

Some 300 refugees, mainly from Iraq, Syria, Iran and Russia have entered from Belarus during the first half of year, according to statistics by the State Border Guard Service. That is several times higher than in previous years.

The tents would be used to accommodate single persons while families would be housed in regular buildings, Kislovas said.

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Follow AP’s global migration coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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