Poland Invades Czech Republic 'by Mistake'

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2020 3:00 PM CDT
Poland Invades Czech Republic 'by Mistake'
Soldiers travel in a truck in Warsaw, Poland, on Saturday, April 4, 2020, at a time when army troops are helping oversee social isolation in an effort to protect against the spread of the coronavirus.   (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

(Newser) – Poland invaded the Czech Republic last month in what one official has called a "misunderstanding," the BBC reports. Polish troops were apparently guarding a closed border to keep up coronavirus measures when they crossed a road, putting them in Czech territory—where they stayed a few days and kept people from entering a local church. "A soldier dressed in the uniform of a foreign state and carrying a sub-machine gun started giving me orders," says Ivo Dokoupil, an environmentalist whose group planned to visit the church and snap photos. "It was a terrifying experience. They wouldn't let me get closer than 10 meters."

Local Czech police were soon called and the troops were told to head out. "Our Polish counterparts unofficially assured us that this incident was merely a misunderstanding caused by the Polish military with no hostile intention, however, we are still expecting a formal statement," a Czech Foreign Ministry spokesperson tells CNN. "The Polish soldiers are no longer present and our citizens can again visit the site freely." Indeed, Poland's defense ministry calls it "a result of misunderstanding, not a deliberate act." The "invasion" occurred in north-eastern Moravia, an area that's part of historical Silesia, which crosses over into the modern-day Czech Republic. (Read more Poland stories.)

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