“We were living worse than dogs,” said Masoud Mahdi, 35, who had spent 11 days in the jungle with his pregnant wife and young daughter.

The hastily constructed migrant encampments at the main border crossing into Poland from Belarus were cleared by the Belarusian government on Thursday morning, removing, for the moment, a major flashpoint that has raised tensions across Europe, the New York Times reports.

The patch of land nicknamed “the jungle” — only days ago the site of violent clashes between migrants trying to push through the razor wire and Polish security forces blasting them with water cannons — was now a wasteland of garbage, abandoned tents and smoldering fires.

Along the tangle of razor wire at the border, there was not a migrant in sight on Thursday afternoon. Under the gray gloom of the November sky, a phalanx of Polish soldiers remained in formation, pressing up against the wire.

While the clearing of the camps promised to ease the immediate suffering of those living rough in freezing conditions, the authorities in Belarus offered no indication of where those who flew to the Eastern European country in the hope of building a life in the West would go now that they were being directed away from the border.

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