13 November 2010

Egypt: 10 African migrants arrested and one shot dead

Almasr alyoum

CAIRO - 13/11/2010 - An Eritrean man was shot while attempting to cross illegally into Israel via one of the border points in Sinai yesterday and another nine Africans arrested in a similar attempt. Police had spotted someone attempting to cross the border into Israel and shouted at him to turn himself in but he refused.

Police then opened fire and he was injured in his right thigh. The 21 year-old Eritrean was taken to hospital for treatment. Security forces also foiled similar attempts by another nine Africans--eight Eritreans and one Sudanese--who confessed to attempting to cross illegally into Israel to search for work. They said they had paid US$9000 to smugglers to help them cross into Israel.

Shootings have been increasingly used as a deterrent in attempts to thwart illegal border activities by African migrants. whose numbers attempting the illegal crossing have been steadily increasing since 2005.

Security in Rafah have also arrested two Palestinian boys near the Salah Eddin gate. The two boys, both 15 years old, said they are involved in smuggling activities via the underground tunnels between Sinai and Gaza.

Security forces have also discovered six underground tunnels. However no goods were found or arrests made.

Smuggling has been an on-going and prevalent underground economic activity in the Sinai peninsula, an area that ranks amidst the most underdeveloped in Egypt and where unemployment is rife