Egyptian officials said Wednesday night that two members of the police force in Sinai were killed as they were pursuing Bedouin smugglers. The incident occurred on the Israel-Sinai border, in an area near Kadesh Barnea.
The IDF has opened an investigation into the incident, and determined that the smugglers, who were suspected of carrying drugs, neared Israeli territory in an area where there is currently no border fence at about 8:00 PM Wednesday. The Egyptian police, who had apparently pursuing the smugglers, were caught up in crossfire with the smugglers. Egyptian sources reported that the two were killed by shot fired by the smugglers.
About an hour and a half hour later, Israeli officials reported that a group of smugglers had approached the Israeli side of the border, and were attempting to transfer contraband to another group of Bedouin smugglers in the area. IDF troops opened fire on the group, injuring at least one of the smugglers. Egyptian officials met with IDF officers on the border after that shootout, with the Egyptians saying that they had no complaints about Israel's handling of the incident. The Egyptians told IDF troops that they saw a large amount of blood inside Sinai near the area of the shootout, most likely belonging to members of the smuggling gang.
Both Egypt and Israel increased patrols in the wake of the incident. Initial results of the IDF investigation indicate that the two incidents were not connected, and they were not terror-related.