Hungary is reinforcing its border patrols, sending more troops and police officers to hold the line as illegal entries continue to surge.
At least 50 soldiers will be deployed to join another 50 already assisting law enforcement on the frontier, a role they have jointly shared since 2015, according to Hirado news outlet.
"The pressure on the Hungarian border is growing, and the number of offenders increased almost tenfold in December - to 3299 - from 2018," said Szilárd Németh, state secretary at the defense ministry during a press conference at a border police base in Madaras.
Németh recently warned over 100,000 migrants have gathered on the Balkan Peninsula and are threatening to flood Europe in a new crisis potentially rivaling 2015.
Németh was accompanied by Lieutenant General Gábor Böröndi, who explained that the Ministry of the Interior had requested the military's border defense mission be increased and kept in place "as long as necessary."
“Speaking at a press conference on the state of illegal migration to Hungary, [Brigadier-General] László Balázs said migration pressure was particularly strong at the end of the year, with some 1,400 migrants arriving in Hungary between December 16 and 22. Another 803 were apprehended between January 1 and 5, 2020, he said,” Hungary Today reports.
The total number of illegal entries into Hungary more than doubled in 2019, the government revealed on Tuesday.
Hungarian police officers have also been sent to North Macedonia and Serbia to aid with border patrols in those countries, through which many migrants move on their way to Hungary and the EU beyond.
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(PHOTO: ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images)Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst