Israeli troops kill one armed man who possibly infiltrated from Egypt
A male and a female soldiers were initially killed by live fire in the early hours of the morning while manning a guard post near the border.
Hours later, a third soldier was killed and another wounded in an exchange of fire with an armed man who was also killed in the gunfight.
His identity was not immediately clear. Initial Israeli assessments say he likely infiltrated from Egypt.
The Israeli military said the “security incident” was under review and troops continue to search the area.
There was no immediate comment from the Egyptian side.
It was reported earlier that incident took place near the southern border town of Nitzana, which is home to an Israeli military camp and a commercial border crossing with Egypt.
The Times of Israel later said the incident occurred between Mount Sagi and Mount Harif some 50 kms south of Nitzana.
Meanwhile, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant held a brief assessment meeting over the incident with Herzi Halevi, the chief of staff of the armed forces, and other defence officials.
The Israeli military also deployed helicopters and sent reinforcements to the location of the incident which took place hours after Israeli troops foiled a drug smuggling attempt across the border overnight.
The 200km-long border between Israel and Egypt enjoys relative calm though drug-smuggling attempts have increased in recent years, leading to confrontations between Israeli troops and smugglers.
According to Israeli army statistics, at least 800 “operational incidents” resulting from smuggling attempts took place in 2022, a nearly 100 percent increase from the previous year.
It was not immediately clear if the Saturday shoot-out was related to smuggling activity.