Egypt’s Military Joins Probe of Killing of Border Policeman
Egyptian military liaison officers crossed into Israel on Saturday to participate in a joint investigation into how an Egyptian border policeman was killed just inside the border on Friday, reported the Jerusalem Post newspaper.
According to Israeli media, a routine Israeli army patrol found the dead border policeman, his weapon next to him, on Friday morning near Nitzana, some 50 kilometers southeast of the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip.
Egyptian reports said the policeman had been killed by Israeli gunfire, possibly stray bullets, in a clash near Rafah.
Reuters quoted Egyptian officials as saying the Egyptian border policeman was shot along with a number of Egyptian soldiers in a clash between Israeli troops and armed Palestinians. It also said the man had been transferred to Egypt alive but died en route to a hospital.
But Israeli army officials flatly rejected this claim, saying the Egyptian policeman was found in an entirely different area, said the paper.
They said the man was found inside the border and stated that it appeared he had been run down and killed by a vehicle.
The Israeli army liaison unit returned the man's body Saturday at the Rafah border crossing.
The Egyptians took the body to the Rafah Central Hospital where it was examined.
One unidentified doctor told reporters that the man had been shot several times in the head, stomach, and legs and his body was bruised, indicating that he may have been tortured, reports said.
He also said the man had been stabbed with a "sharp weapon," according to Reuters.
AP reported that Egyptian officials had ordered the local media not to report on the death out of fear it would spark protests.
While a number of Egyptian civilians have been wounded by stray bullets in clashes between Israeli troops and armed Palestinians along the Egyptian border in Rafah, there had previously been no Egyptian fatalities.
The man was identified as Sayed El Ghareeb Muhammad Ahmed, 23.
He was part of the contingent that guards the long Sinai border between Israel and the Egypt, said the paper – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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