Two drug smugglers hit in shoot-out with Egyptian soldiers operating on Israeli and Egyptian sides of the border.
• After IDF fired warning shots, the 2 smugglers were evacuated but later succumbed to their wounds.
By Yoav Zitun
Two Israeli smugglers were killed on Tuesday morning during an exchange of fire between Egyptian soldiers and a smuggling cell with operatives on both the Israeli and Egyptian sides of the border.
IDF forces shot warning shots into the air and later evacuated the smugglers, who had been in critically wounded during the incident and later succumbed to their wounds. The incident took place close to the Negev community of Nitzana.
According to an initial investigation into the incident, the smugglers began an attempt to smuggle a bag containing drugs at around 8:45 am on Tuesday morning, roughly 30 kilometers south of the border with the Gaza Strip in an area in the Negev desert between Nitzana and Kadesh.
Egyptian soldiers operating near the border identified the smuggling attempt and opened fire on the armed smugglers who then fired back.
IDF units of the Central Brigade commanded by Colonel Yehuda Cohen fired warning shots and evacuated the wounded smugglers, in coordination with Egyptian forces.
The smugglers had initially arrived at Highway 10, which was declared a closed-off military zone a year ago. Despite the construction of a new security fence, attempts to smuggle drugs and other illegal materials have continued to occur in the area – most of which have been intercepted by security forces.
In October 2014, and IDF officer and soldier suffered moderate to serious wounds when smugglers opened fire at them. The officer fired back and hit at least one of the smugglers. Another infantry force that later arrived at the scene continued in a firefight with the smugglers. Several of the smugglers were killed during the incident.
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4624914,00.html