Egyptian police shot dead a 42-year-old Eritrean migrant yesterday as he tried to cross the border into Israel at dawn, a medical source and a security source said.
Five other Ethiopian migrants were arrested in a separate attempt to cross the border four hours later, the same security source said.
The Sinai border is a major transit route for African migrants and refugees seeking work or asylum in Israel. Egypt has come under pressure from Israel to staunch the flow. Rights groups complain about the methods of the border police.
Egyptian police have killed 14 migrants this year while at least 19 were killed in 2009.
The United Nations and Amnesty International have called on Egypt to check its border guards’ use of excessive force against unarmed migrants.
UN human rights Chief Navi Pillay asked Cairo in March to launch an inquiry into what she said could be a “shoot-to-kill policy” by some Egyptian security forces. Egypt rejected Pillay’s comments.
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.
Pic: Egyptian police