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(photo credit: AP [file])
Egyptian border guards shot a Sudanese refugee and arrested two others early Wednesday as they tried to cross from Egypt into Israel, a police official said.
Twenty-six other refugees were successful in their attempt to illegally cross the border, the official said. The IDF, meanwhile, said 47 Africans crossed the border from Egypt overnight, without specifying nationalities. The army did not provide more details.
Security officials shot one Sudanese refugee, who did not have a passport, when he did not comply with orders to turn himself over to authorities, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. The refugee was taken to an Egyptian hospital, and his condition was "very critical," according to the official.
Authorities arrested two other Sudanese refugees, Rawda Abdullah, 25, and her 24-year-old brother Ismail, who were from the war-torn Darfur region, as they tried to cross the border. They remain in police custody.
The three were part of a group of 29 Sudanese refugees who paid smugglers $500 each to help them sneak into Israel, said the official.
Radwa Abdullah told interrogators that the refugees met with a broker in Cairo who promised them a safe crossing into Israel. She said they were then covered with bed sheets on mini-trucks and entered the Sinai Peninsula, where they spent a night in Beduin tents. In the early morning, masked Beduin led them to a border area where the barbed wire was dangling and had many holes, the official said Radwa Abdullah told investigators.
On Monday, 20 Sudanese refugees were arrested while attempting to cross into Israel, seeking political asylum.
About 200 people a year, mostly from Sudan, are smuggled from Egypt into Israel, according to the Israeli group Physicians for Human Rights.
Egyptian authorities have long accused Sinai inhabitants of smuggling weapons, drugs and people across the border into Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Many Sudanese 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.