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  • Belarus border crisis

Image source, AFPImage caption, Migrants have been moved from the freezing border camp to a warehouse

Migrants camping on the border between Belarus and Poland have been moved to nearby warehouse, border guards have confirmed.

About 1,000 people, mostly from the Middle East, have been living at the makeshift camp with the aim of entering the EU.

The move marks a de-escalation of tensions between Belarus and the EU.

Belarus has been accused of pushing migrants to the border as revenge for EU sanctions, a charge it denies.

In another development on Thursday, more than 400 Iraqis were repatriated from Belarus on a flight arranged by the Iraqi government.

One man who was on the flight, told the New York Times he had made eight attempts to cross into Poland. He was successful on one attempt, only to be dragged back by Polish guards.

Those left at the border have been moved to a logistics depot several hundred metres away, according to Polish border guards. People started moving on Wednesday with more arriving at the site on Thursday.

Images of the border camp show it completely deserted.

Image source, AFPImage caption, The situation at the camp had been tense as people attempted to reach the EU

It is hoped that the change of tack by Belarus could help calm down the situation.

Earlier this week, the crisis reached boiling point with Polish forces using tear gas and a water cannon to repel migrants trying to cross into the country.

Several Polish forces were injured after migrants attempted to breach the crossing and threw missiles.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced on Thursday that the UK will send about 150 British soldiers to help reinforce Poland's border with Belarus.

For months, men, women and children have been amassing at Belarus's western borders. Many of those arrived by plane but airlines have been cutting down on the number of flights from the Middle East to Minsk.

This video can not be played

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.Media caption, Steve Rosenberg reports from the migrant camps on the border between Poland and Belarus

Poland has the EU's backing in not letting the migrants into the bloc.

Belarus had called for EU members to take in 2,000 of the migrants but was rejected by Germany and the European Commission.

EU-Belarus relations have been severely strained since Mr Lukashenko declared victory in a discredited presidential election last year and tried to silence dissenting voices.