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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Israeli troopers killed by Egyptian police officer close to border

JERUSALEM — Three Israeli troopers have been killed in a uncommon burst of violence alongside Israel’s border with Egypt on Saturday, Israeli officers mentioned. A suspected gunman, who was later killed in a shootout, was a member of Egyptian safety forces who unintentionally strayed into Israeli territory whereas in pursuit of drug smugglers, based on the Egyptian army.

Two of the troopers have been discovered useless at a distant guard submit early Saturday, officers mentioned, simply hours after Israeli forces had thwarted a drug-smuggling try within the space, a rugged and unpopulated stretch of the Negev desert. After an intensive search, the suspected gunman was killed in a firefight, together with a 3rd Israeli soldier.

Israel Protection Forces officers mentioned they have been investigating the incidents in coordination with the Egyptian army, together with reviews that the suspected gunman was carrying a uniform that resembled that of an Egyptian police or border guard officer.

All the occasions occurred on the Israeli aspect of the frontier, officers mentioned.

“Our assumption is that this was linked to the drug-smuggling try, however we are able to’t be certain but,” Lt. Col Richard Hecht mentioned in a briefing with reporters. “It might be [the Islamic State, the terrorist group active in Egypt’s Sinai region], it might be a rogue border guard, it might be a smuggler, we’re nonetheless trying into it.”

Hecht mentioned “cooperation with Egypt is sweet, it’s ongoing. This isn’t a geopolitical incident.”

The Egyptian Military launched an announcement Saturday afternoon saying the incident was the results of a scorching pursuit of drug smugglers.

“On Saturday early morning on June third, 2023, a member of the safety forces which might be chargeable for securing the worldwide border line chased members of a drug smuggling [chain],” the assertion mentioned. “In the course of the chase a member of safety forces breached the safety checkpoint and exchanged hearth which led to the loss of life of three members of the Israeli safety forces.”

Officers didn’t launch additional data on the id or nationality of the alleged assailant.

The occasions of what Hecht referred to as “a complicated morning” could have begun between 2 and three a.m. when Israeli troopers foiled a smuggling try through which operatives on one aspect of the border barrier reportedly used ladders to move contraband to the opposite. About $401,000 price of unlawful medication have been confiscated, the army mentioned.

A number of hours later, after two troopers stationed at a guard submit within the space failed to answer radio communications, an officer arrived to analyze and located each had been shot, Hecht mentioned. One was male, the opposite feminine. It was not clear whether or not there had been any reviews of assaults within the space.

Israeli forces launched a search of the world and tracked a suspected assailant, Hecht mentioned. The person, who was armed with an computerized weapon, opened hearth on Israeli troops, killing a male soldier. Israeli forces returned hearth, Hecht mentioned, killing the person.

The incidents passed off close to the Nitzana border crossing, about 25 miles from the converging frontiers of Israel, Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Israel’s Egyptian border has been a comparatively calm frontier lately, though smuggling makes an attempt into Israel will not be uncommon, officers mentioned.

Sarah Dadouch contributed reporting from Beirut.

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