April 26, 2016 / 1:57 PM / a year ago

Danish volunteer soldiers replacing police at German border amid immigrant crisis

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark will deploy soldiers of its volunteer Home Guard at its border with Germany to ease the burden on police in coping with an influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa, justice minister Soren Pind said on Tuesday.

Police officers walk at the Danish-German border in Krusaa, Denmark January 9, 2016. REUTERS/Claus Fisker/Scanpix Denmark

Denmark, a member of the border-free Schengen agreement, reinstated temporary border controls at the German border on Jan. 4. A force of 140 Home Guard is expected to replace 165 police officers in June.

“We can see that the police is under heavy pressure,” Pind said in a statement. “So we’ve taken this step now...so that 165 police officers can be moved from the border and back to their districts.”

In 2015, the number of asylum seekers in Denmark rose to 21,000 from 14,815 in 2014.

Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; editing by Ralph Boulton

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