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Two gunmen, Israeli killed on Egypt border

18/06/2012

Two gunmen and an Israeli civilian have been killed during an exchange of fire along Israel’s southern border with Egypt in an area which is close to the Gaza Strip, public radio said.

Three gunmen, initially believed to be Palestinians, opened fire on Monday towards a convoy of vehicles carrying Israeli construction workers to the place where they are building part of the vast border fence along the frontier, prompting Israeli troops in the area to open fire.

Initial reports said two of the gunmen were killed along with one of the construction workers.

The Israeli army confirmed that gunmen had opened fire on construction workers in the area of the border but did not immediately confirm the toll.

“Fire was opened at Israeli workers during routine construction work on the security fence between Israel and Egypt,” she said, saying troops had “opened fire towards the terrorists.”

She could not immediately confirm whether the shooting came from the Egyptian side of the border, or from inside Israel, but the military’s official spokesman, General Yitzhak Mordechai said a “group of terrorists” had infiltrated Israeli territory along the border, very close to the Gaza frontier.

“These terrorists opened fire and used explosive devices and also apparently used anti-tank missiles against vehicles which were transporting workers who were building the security fence along the border,” he told Israel’s army radio.

“Soldiers then arrived at the scene and opened fire. At least one terrorist was killed.

“All the sector where the incident took place has been closed and we are carrying out searches to ensure there are no more terrorists in Israeli territory.”

The border incident came just 48 hours after two rockets were fired from Sinai into southern Israel, hitting close to the Negev desert town of Mitzpe Ramon and near Ovda, which lies some 40km north of Eilat.
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