Czechia sends soldiers to help guard Slovak border

Some 320 soldiers have been deployed from Sunday to assist police and customs officers in guarding the Slovakian border as part of its response to deal with the increase in irregular migration.

Soldiers from ground forces and members of active reserves will be based in the South Moravia, Zlín and Moravia-Silesia regions, Czech Radio reported on Sunday.

Czechia reinstated controls at 27 former border crossings with Slovakia on 28 September in response to the increase in irregular migration flows. They were initially supposed to last until Saturday, but last week the government approved extending them for another twenty days, until 28 October.

According to Interior Minister Vít Rakušan (STAN), the measure has produced good results, with the influx of migrants starting to decrease.

Since the reintroduction of the border checks, police officers have detected around 1,900 migrants and apprehended nearly 50 smugglers. As reported by Czech TV, police officers have screened more than 250,000 people.

According to Police President Martin Vondrášek, the most significant number of smugglers arrested are from Ukraine, followed by the Czech Republic, Syria, Moldova and Georgia.

The most dramatic moment so far since the introduction of controls took place in South Moravia on 1 October. A smuggler in a van carrying 29 refugees from Syria crashed on the outskirts of the city of Břeclav after trying to escape a police patrol from the border crossing.

The van crashed into parked cars and a house, injuring 21people, including children.

In response to the Czech government’s move, Austria has also launched checks at its border with Slovakia which has also reinforced controls at its border with Hungary. Bavaria also started carrying out random border checks at the Czech and Austrian borders more frequently on Friday due to increased migration flows.

Source

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