Egypt Independent

Policeman shot by smugglers along Israeli border

Egyptian security sources on Thursday said a policeman was wounded in a confrontation with men attempting to smuggle African migrants across the Egyptian-Israeli border.

A security official told MENA news agency the policeman is in stable condition.

The official said the smugglers fled after shooting the policeman in the thigh. The injured policeman was immediately taken to Rafah Hospital, where he received first aid.

Security personnel are intensifying their efforts to catch the culprits.

Authorities complain of increased attempts by African migrants to cross its border into Israel, assisted by Bedouin gangs active in the smuggling industry. The African migrants attempt to enter Israel in search of employment.

Israel says nearly 10 thousand African migrants have crossed into its territory over the Egyptian border in the past few years.

International organizations have accused Egyptian security forces of using excessive force against the immigrants. Since the start of 2010, Egyptian authorities have killed nearly 23 Africans attempting to cross its borders into Israel. Egyptian police killed at least 19 African migrants in 2009.