AL-ARISH: A security official says an Egyptian border guard has been shot and wounded by suspected human traffickers in an area close to the Israeli border in the Sinai Peninsula.
The official says the guard was shot in the shoulder early Monday when he tried to stop a party of Bedouins trying to sneak African migrants and drugs into Israel. Other border guards arrived at the scene and drove the smugglers and the migrants away in a firefight.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The incident took place south of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
Smuggling across the border into Gaza or Israel has long provided a livelihood for some Bedouins in Sinai.
Egypt s 250-km border with Israel has become a major transit route for migrants, asylum-seekers and drug smugglers, and Israel has asked Egypt to clamp down on the traffic.
Last month, Israeli troops shot dead an Egyptian Bedouin who entered Israel illegally.
Egyptian police killed at least 28 migrants, most of them Sudanese and Eritrean, on the border in 2008. None of them was armed. -Agencies