Egypt forces shoot Palestinians infiltrating through Gaza tunnel
Security forces shot dead a Palestinian and wounded two others Saturday after they tried to enter Egypt from Gaza through a tunnel under the border town of Rafah, security officials said.
The men, who were spotted by a security patrol, tried to run back into the tunnel after being ordered to stop and were shot.
Egypt’s army says it has destroyed more than 1,600 tunnels connecting the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip, most of them since the ouster of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi last year.
The Islamist group Hamas, the main power in the blockaded Palestinian enclave, uses the tunnels to smuggle in arms, food and money.
Cairo has poured troops into the peninsula to counter a rising insurgency since Mursi’s overthrow.
Israel went to war with Hamas in July, in part with the objective of destroying tunnels, including ones under the border with the Jewish state.
The war, which took the lives of 2,140 Palestinians and 73 on the Israeli side, ended with an open-ended truce on August 26.
In a separate incident in Sinai, security officials announced the death on Saturday of a leader from Egypt’s deadliest militant group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Partisans of Jerusalem).
Officials said the slain militant was an explosives expert who was attempting with three others to plant a roadside bomb.
The militant group has claimed two bombings of security convoys this month, killing 16 policemen.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has carried out some of the worst attacks against Egyptian security forces in the peninsula and elsewhere since Mursi’s ouster.
The group says its attacks are in retaliation for a deadly government crackdown on Mursi supporters.