20 April 2010

Egypt police kill Eritrean migrant on Israel border


ISMAILIA, Egypt, April 20 2010- Egyptian police shot dead a 31-year-old Eritrean migrant on Tuesday as he tried to sneak across the border into Israel, security sources said. Two more migrants -- one Eritrean and one Sudanese -- were injured and were taken to a hospital in Arish, in north Sinai for treatment, a medical source said.

The Sinai border is a major transit route for African migrants and refugees seeking work or asylum in Israel. Egypt has come under pressure from Israel to staunch the flow. Rights groups complain about the methods of the border police.

Egyptian police have killed at least 14 migrants this year, compared to 19 for the whole of 2009.

The United Nations and Amnesty International have called on Egypt to check its border guards' use of excessive force against unarmed migrants.

Security forces say they fire at migrants only after repeated orders to stop are ignored, and say that in some cases smugglers who ferry migrants to the border have opened fire on security forces. (Reporting by Yusri Mohamed; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Jon Hemming)