Israeli soldier and militants killed in border clash

Injured Israeli soldier after clash with militants near Egyptian border (21/09/12)An Israeli soldier and three militants have been killed in a clash inside Israel near its southern border with Egypt, the Israeli military has said.

A second soldier was moderately wounded in the incident, near Mount Arif, said army spokeswoman Avital Leibovich.

Lt Col Leibovich said the militants had opened fire on the soldiers after crossing the border from Sinai.

The troops were guarding a site where work is continuing on a new security barrier along the border with Egypt.

The violence comes amid a crackdown by Egypt on Islamist militants operating in the Sinai Peninsula, launched after an attack last month left 16 Egyptian soldiers dead.

In that incident, the militants subsequently crossed the border with Israel in an apparent attempt to carry out another attack. However, they were killed in Israeli air strikes.

In June, militants fired an anti-tank missile at a vehicle convoy carrying construction workers helping to build the new border fence. One Israeli construction worker and two of the attackers were killed.

Analysts say that the security situation in Sinai has deteriorated following the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last year, and that local Bedouin criminal gangs, radical Palestinian groups and possibly militant Islamists sympathetic to al-Qaeda have gained a foothold.


BBC has the full article

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