Egyptian officer shot dead by Israeli fire
An Egyptian army officer was killed during a brief exchange of fire with Israeli soldiers early Monday morning, Israel's Army Radio reported on Tuesday. The initial findings of a joint Israeli-Egyptian investigation into the incident indicated that an Egyptian army patrol crossed the unmarked border into Israeli territory while chasing smugglers.
Apparently unaware that they had entered into Israeli territory, the Egyptians opened fire when they came upon an Israeli army patrol operating in the area. The Israelis returned fire and killed an Egyptian military officer, it was reported.
The officer, Mohammed Farul Ali al-Kersh, was hit in the chest and taken to Rafah hospital where he died.
Earlier, press reports claimed human traffickers shot dead the Egyptian officer as they tried to smuggle a group of African immigrants into Israel.
He said the six armed and masked Egyptian traffickers fled back into Egypt with an unknown number of African immigrants after the shooting.