A man writes words on children's faces in front of journalists in a makeshift camp on the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region, Belarus, on November 12, 2021. Image Credit: REUTERS

WARSAW: The body of a young Syrian man has been found in a forest close to the border between Poland and Belarus, Polish police said on Saturday.

The death brings to 11 the number of refugees found dead on both sides since the crisis began in the summer, according to aid groups.

“The body of a young Syrian man was discovered yesterday in the forest near Wolka Terechowska,” police for the Podlasie region said in a statement.

“The cause of the death could not be determined at the scene,” it said.

Police also said that a group of around 100 refugees had attempted to cross the border during the night in the same area.

“After seeing police and soldiers, the people on the Belarusian side fled into the forest,” it said.

Thousands of refugees — most of them from the Middle East — have crossed or attempted to cross the EU and Nato border since the summer.

The crisis escalated this week when larger groups of hundreds of refugees began arriving at the border and attempting to get through.

Polish border guards estimate there are currently up to 4,000 refugees camped out along the border.

Western countries have accused the Belarusian regime, which is backed by Russia, of engineering the crisis in retaliation against EU sanctions, charges that Minsk has denied.