June 2, 2009 / 8:00 AM / 10 years ago

Egypt police kill African migrant near Israel border

ISMAILIA, Egypt, June 2 (Reuters) - Egyptian police have shot and killed an African migrant attempting to cross the border into Israel and a second with him was wounded, security and medical sources said on Tuesday.

For years Egypt tolerated tens of thousands of Africans on its territory but its attitude hardened after it came under pressure to halt rising migration into Israel.

The number of migrants killed at the border has dipped since last year, when at least 28 were killed. The latest incident is the second such case this year.

The killings on the border have been a concern in the past to the United States, which has expressed worries about rights issues in Egypt. U.S. President Barack Obama visits Egypt to deliver a speech to the Muslim world on Thursday.

The dead man did not have identification papers but was believed to be African. He was shot in the head, the sources said.

The sources said a second man, a 20-year-old Eritrean, was shot in the back and was in a critical condition in a hospital in el-Arish in the north of Sinai peninsula.

A routine Egyptian border patrol spotted the two men at dawn near the border with Israel and ordered them to stop, opening fire when they did not heed the warning, the sources added. (Writing by Alastair Sharp; Editing Samia Nakhoul)

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