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Polish troops guarding the Czech border took up positions by a chapel on the Czech side of the border, 30 metres inside the Czech Republic. Local media reported the soldiers prevented Czech visitors from visiting the site. The Ministry told CNN: “The placement of the border post was a result of misunderstanding, not a deliberate act.
“It was corrected immediately and the case was resolved – also by the Czech side.”
Prague’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has said it is yet to receive an official explanation.
The incident took place in north-east Moravia.
It is not clear how long the “occupation” lasted and local newspaper Denik reports the Polish soldiers initially took up positions on the Polish side of the stream that forms the border as part of coronavirus measures.
A Czech environmental group were due to hold a meeting in a nearby village, Pelhřimovy.
Ivo Dokoupil, the movement’s local co-ordinator, attempted to explain that the group wished to take photographs in the chapel.
He told Denik: “A soldier dressed in the uniform of a foreign state and carrying a sub-machine gun started giving me orders.
“It was a terrifying experience.
“They wouldn’t let me get closer than 10 metres.”
The Czech Police were called and moved the Polish soldiers on.
Similar mistakes to this have occurred in the past.
According to the book, ‘1000 Facts about Ireland’, in 2010 two police officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) accidentally blocked a road in the Republic of Ireland.
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The officers were from Fermanagh and drove into the village of Clyhore to set up a roadblock and search cars.
The officers had driven 100 yards into County Donegal.
Realising their mistake, they got back into their car and returned to Northern Ireland.
According to Swiss daily Blick, in 2007, 170 Swiss soldiers wandered a mile into neighbouring Liechtenstein.
The soldiers turned back once they realised their mistake.
An Army spokesman Daniel Reist explained: “We’ve spoken to the authorities in Liechtenstein and it’s not a problem.”
Markus Amman, then a spokesman for the Liechtenstein’s interior ministry insisted nobody in the country even noticed the soldiers: “It’s not like they stormed over here with attack helicopters or something.”
Popular legend claims during the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, 80 Liechtenstein soldiers went to defend their Austrian border from attacks from Italy.
The legend says they returned with 81 as a liaison officer, some sources claim Austrian, others Italian, decided to join them on the way back.
Lord West, who was First Sea Lord in 2002, when British marines landed at the Spanish town of La Linea, instead of Gibraltar, he explained to the Today Programme: “It wasn’t one of the best days in my time. I had a phone call from the military commander saying, ‘Sir, I’m afraid something awful’s happened.’ I thought, ‘Goodness me, what?’ And he said, ‘I’m afraid we’ve invaded Spain, but we don’t think they’ve noticed.’
“I said, ‘People always notice, tell me exactly what happened.’ They had been doing a little landing exercise which was meant to take place on a beach in Gibraltar, and they had got lost, and gone up on the wrong beach.”
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