Europe's Frontex sends more guards to protect Greek border | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Europe's Frontex sends more guards to protect Greek border

A migrant looks at shoes in a small street market near the Turkish-Greek border in Pazarkule, Edirne region, Turkey, Friday, March 13, 2020. Greek border units trying to stop crowds of migrants on Thursday from pushing their way in from Turkey have hit on a new defense against tear gas unleashed on them from the Turkish side of the frontier — monster fans. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
March 13, 2020 - 6:12 AM

WARSAW, Poland - The European border protection agency, Frontex, says it has deployed another 100 border guards to Greece to help protect the European Union's frontier there from pressure of migrants.

Warsaw-based Frontex said Friday the deployment of guards from 22 member states is part of a rapid border intervention requested by Athens. The assistance will also include vessels, maritime surveillance aircraft and Thermal-Vision Vehicles, for the Frontex maritime Rapid Border Intervention task, Aegean 2020.

Frontex already has more than 500 officers in Greece, as well as 11 vessels and other equipment.

"The presence of 100 officers from all around Europe underlines the fact that the protection of the European area of freedom, security and justice is a shared responsibility of all Member States and Frontex,” Frontex quoted its executive director, Fabrice Leggeri, as saying during the launch of the operation in the Greek town of Orestiada.

Greece has been trying to stop a massive wave of migrants pushing in from Turkey, in a crisis that erupted last month.

Athens says more than 45,000 attempted entries have been thwarted, including more than 500 on Thursday — when for a second day migrants threw Molotov cocktails at Greek border troops and police. Greek units were also attacked with tear gas and responded in kind.

Earlier in the week, two Frontex border surveillance planes were deployed to Greece.

The agency said the rapid border interventions are planned for two months but can be extended if needed.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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