Two smugglers died in a clash late Tuesday in Egyptian territory near Israel's border.
According to a report in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, official sources have confirmed that Egyptian authorities are holding the body of an Israeli citizen shot in the border area between Egypt and Israel in the city of Rafah in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
Egyptian and Israeli security officials said a group of infiltrators was spotted entering Israeli territory and fled back into Egypt, where two people were killed either by smugglers or Egyptian forces.
The other smugglers reportedly fled into Egypt from the Israeli side. It is unknown what, if any, contraband they were attempting to bring into Israel. It remains unclear whether the smugglers were Egyptian or Israeli.
According to Ynet news,the Israeli border authorities are currently investigating the identities of the two suspects that were killed as the third suspect involved in the shooting apparently fled into the Sinai.
An Israeli army spokesman said that Israeli soldiers identified two infiltrators inside Israeli territory and initiated arrest procedures, but they crossed into Egypt and exchanged fire with Egyptian forces.
At the same time, a cell lying in wait on the Egyptian side of the border opened fire on the Israeli forces. The Israeli soldiers returned fire.
Israel is building an electronic barrier along the 230-kilometer (150-mile) border with Egypt to keep smugglers and illegal immigrants out,the spokesman said.
In 2010, some 14,735 illegal immigrants, mostly Eritreans, crossed the border into Israel.
In 2011, official statistics showed that by early November, 12,407 migrants had entered Israel, with 950 crossing the border in the first six days of November.
Earlier, Human traffickers in Egypt's Sinai peninsula threw the dead body of an African migrant from his car, Ahram Online reported.
Egyptian security officials witnessed the event, which took place in El-Arish. The body was taken to a nearby hospital for an autopsy.
The circumstances surrounding the incident are unclear.