Egyptian police kill Eritrean man trying to cross into Israel

Border guards arrest five others attempting to infiltrate through Sinai border; group shot at during process.

September 17, 2007 18:21
1 minute read.
Egyptian police kill Eritrean man trying to cross into Israel

sudanese refugees 298.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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Egyptian border guards fatally shot an Eritrean man Monday and arrested five others from the African nation as they tried to cross into Israel illegally, a police official said. The flow of illegal immigrants from Egypt into Israel has been a source of tension between the two countries, prompting the Jewish state to call on Cairo to do more to police its border. Following these calls, Egyptian border guards have killed or wounded several Africans in recent months as they tried to sneak into Israel. The Eritreans confronted on Monday had each paid US$300 (€216) to a smuggler in Cairo to take them to the Sinai Peninsula and help them illegally cross the border into Israel, said a Sinai security official. Guards opened fire on the group, which included two women, when the Africans ignored calls to stop and instead attempted to flee, the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. Imad Kharboush, a health official in el-Arish, identified the slain Eritrean man as Yamani Sabou, 45, saying he was brought to the local hospital with a fatal gunshot wound to his back. In early July, Egyptian border guards shot dead a Sudanese refugee trying to sneak into Israel, alleging that he did not comply with orders to turn himself over to authorities. Later that month, border police shot and killed a Sudanese woman and seriously wounded four others under similar circumstances. Israel estimates that 2,800 people have entered the country illegally through its border with Egypt in recent years, nearly all from Africa. Many African refugees find life difficult in Egypt, a country that struggles to provide jobs and social services for a growing refugee population. Egyptian riot police violently cleared a refugee encampment in central Cairo in 2005, killing nearly 30 people.

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