Gunmen kidnap 3 Egyptian guards near border with Israel

Egyptian security officials say gunmen force border guards into vehicles; kidnappings reportedly linked to death of drug smuggler.

February 20, 2011 14:39
El-Arish, Egypt in northern Sinai

El-Arish 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

EL-ARISH, Egypt  — Security officials on Sunday said that masked gunmen have kidnapped three Egyptian border guards on the border with Israel in the Sinai Peninsula.

The gunmen arrived in three cars at a border post early on Sunday and forced the three into the vehicles and sped away, according to the security officials.

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The kidnappings appeared linked to the shooting death last week of a suspected drugs smuggler who tried to sneak across the border into Israel, the officials said.

Border guards from the post where Sunday's kidnappings took place were involved in the shooting.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

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