The Egyptian Army said today that three Israeli soldiers and an Egyptian officer died early this Saturday on the border between the two countries during “the persecution” of some drug smugglers that led to an “exchange of fire”.
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The Egyptian Armed Forces said in a statement that “an Egyptian security officer” on the Egypt-Israel border crossed the divide during the pursuit of smugglers, and “the exchange of fire caused the death of three Israeli soldiers, wounding two others, and the death of the Egyptian agent”
The statement did not offer further details about what happened, adding that investigations and combing are currently being carried out in the area, and that “legal action on the incident” will also be taken, without specifying.
Two Egyptian military and intelligence sources, however, told EFE that the Egyptian officer lost his life when shot by Israeli soldiers, who crossed the border during the persecution.
For its part, the Israeli Army said that an Egyptian policeman was the one who opened fire on its soldiers at a military post on the border and, hours later, there was another exchange of shots between the assailant and the Israeli troops in which the attacker died. . “The assailant is an Egyptian policeman.
An investigation is being carried out in full cooperation with the Egyptian Army,” a military spokesman confirmed, noting that Israeli soldiers continue to search the area to rule out the presence of additional assailants.
The incident in which the first two soldiers died occurred near Mount Sagi, in the Negev desert. The Israel-Egypt border is largely peaceful, however there are frequent attempts to smuggle drugs across the separation fence, where an exchange of fire between Israeli soldiers and traffickers occasionally occurs.
The Egyptian Army also frequently targets drug traffickers as well as jihadist groups in the North Sinai desert, sometimes resulting in accidental cross-border shooting. Hours before the first shooting incident on Saturday, Israeli troops foiled an attempt to smuggle drugs across the border, seizing an estimated 1.5 million shekels ($400,000) worth of contraband, according to military officials.
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