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MIDEAST > Israeli soldiers kill man crossing illegally from Egypt

JERUSALEM - Reuters

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Israeli troops shot dead a man trying to infiltrate the Sinai border with Egypt and wounded another on Friday, the Israeli military said, in the latest in a series of deadly incidents along a once quiet frontier.

Both men, who crossed the desert border under cover of darkness, turned out to be unarmed when Israeli medics found them after dawn, a military spokeswoman said. 

She would not divulge the identities or nationalities of the infiltrators though Israeli media said they were Palestinians from the nearby Gaza Strip.

"Israeli border police identified two suspects infiltrating Israel through the Israel-Egypt border," the spokeswoman said. When they failed to heed orders to stop, the troops "fired at the suspects," she added.

Last month armed men shot and killed an Israeli who was working on a fence being put up along the border, where tensions have risen since former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, an Israeli ally, was overthrown a year ago in a popular revolt.

Israel says the Egyptian authorities have lost control of the vast Sinai desert, with Bedouin bandits, jihadists and Palestinian militants from Gaza filling the vacuum.
 
African migrants have also poured across the porous border in the past two years, with the Israeli government under growing pressure from public opinion to halt the influx.

July/13/2012

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