Egyptian police shot and killed an Eritrean woman trying to cross Egypt’s border into Israel, security sources said, bringing the number of migrants killed along the border so far this year to at least 19.
The 38-year-old woman was shot three times — in the stomach, right arm and left hand — at a point midway along the Sinai border, the Egyptian security sources said.
Police arrested another two Eritrean women and a child who were with the dead woman, whose body was transferred to a hospital in the northern Sinai city of el-Arish.
During the whole of 2009, Egyptian police killed 19 migrants along the border, a major transit route for African migrants and refugees seeking work or asylum in Israel.
Egypt has come under pressure from Israel to stop the flow, but rights groups complain about the methods of the border police.
The United Nations and Amnesty International have called on Egypt to investigate its border guards’ suspected use of excessive force against unarmed migrants.
Security forces say they fire at migrants only after repeated orders to stop are ignored, and say that in some cases smugglers who ferry migrants to the border have opened fire on security forces.
Egypt passed a law in May imposing penalties on human traffickers. Those convicted could get life imprisonment or a fine of up to 500 million Egyptian pounds ($88 million).
Pic: Egypt police