An Egyptian border guard was wounded when smugglers shot at him on Wednesday, south of the Karam Salem border crossing with Israel. He was among a patrol that clashed with smugglers as they tried to help African nationals infiltrate Israel.
A security source said Ahmed Hafiz Ibrahim, 22, was taken to hospital in a critical condition, while the smugglers managed to escape.
Egypt serves as a transit point for illegal African immigrants, mostly Eritreans, Sudanese and Ethiopians looking for work in Israel. They pay smugglers to help them cross the border, but often are shot by Egyptian security forces.
Israel often calls on Egypt to halt the infiltration of immigrants across the borders.