Middle East

Egypt border guards shoot Sudanese migrants dead

An Israeli soldier stands near the border fence between Israel and Egypt as African would-be immigrants sit on the other side near the Israeli village of Be'er Milcha, in this September 6, 2012 file photo Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Sinai Peninsula is a major route for African would-be migrants to Israel

Egyptian border security forces have shot dead at least five Sudanese migrants as they attempted to cross into Israel from northern Sinai.

A statement issued by the Egyptian military said the migrants were with people smugglers who opened fire on the border guards when they attempted to arrest the group.

Earlier this month the bodies of 15 African migrants were found on the border in the same area, near Rafah.

They appeared to have been shot dead.

The circumstances of those deaths have not been fully explained.

In addition to the five Sudanese shot dead in the incident on Monday morning, six were injured and a further five arrested by security forces.

There is constant tension in the area, which borders Israel and Gaza to the east, and where the Egyptian army is trying to crush an insurgency by militants linked to so-called Islamic State (IS).

Jihadists based in the North Sinai region stepped up their attacks after the military overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.

A state of emergency has been in force in the area since October 2014, following an attack by the IS-linked group Sinai Province.

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