Thousands of Egyptian Interior Ministry troops descended on the border with Gaza
Wednesday after at least 300 Palestinians illegally crossed into Egypt after Al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades gunmen stole two tractors and broke through the border wall, an Egyptian security official and witnesses said.
An Egyptian armored vehicle was set on fire and at least three Palestinians were reported injured, one seriously when an Egyptian troop carrier crushed him against a wall, witness said.
Brig. Adel Fawzi, director of criminal investigation for North Sinai
, said border police were unable to stop the intruders because they had no orders to shoot.
At nightfall, Egyptian authorities cut electricity on their side of the crossing, leaving the scene in near total darkness. Hundreds of Palestinians were hiding in farmland on the Egyptian side.