Saturday, August 28, 2010

Eritrean migrant dies after Israel border shooting

Eritrean migrant dies after Israel border shooting

23 Aug 2010

ISMAILIA, Egypt, Aug 23 (Reuters) - An Eritrean migrant who was shot by Egyptian police ten days ago while trying to slip into Israel died late on Sunday, medical sources said, raising the migrant death toll along the Egypt-Israel border.

The death of the 25-year-old man brings the number of migrants killed by smugglers and police in the incident to eight.

At least 30 migrants have died along the sensitive border so far this year, with at least 25 killed by Egyptian police and the rest by smugglers. Border forces killed a total of 19 migrants in 2009.

Egyptian police also detained 19 African migrants who attempted to cross the border in a separate incident on Sunday, security sources said.

The Sinai penninsula is a major transit route for African migrants and refugees seeking work or asylum in Israel. It is also used by smugglers to ferry narcotics and weapons into Israel along with a range of goods into the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Egypt has come under pressure from Israel to stop the flow of migrants through their joint border, as well as from international rights groups who want it to investigate the suspected use of excessive force against unarmed migrants.

Security forces say they fire at migrants only after repeated orders to stop are ignored, and that in some cases smugglers have opened fire on border police.

(Reporting by Yusri Mohamed; Writing by Yasmine Saleh)

(Editing by Nina Chestney and Noah Barkin)

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