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2 Israeli Soldiers Killed in Shootout on Israel-Egypt Border

Two Israeli soldiers were killed on Saturday in a shootout adjacent to the border between Israel and Egypt, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement.

An assailant, who was in Israeli territory, opened fire at the troops and was “neutralized” by the soldiers, said the statement, without revealing the identity of the gunman.

The IDF is conducting inspections in the area, it added, noting more exchanges of fire took place on the border hours after the security incident.

Such confrontations along the Israel-Egypt border are rare as the two countries maintained close security ties under a peace agreement signed by the two sides in 1979.

The Israeli military frequently carried out search-and-arrest operations on the common border to prevent drug and weapons smuggling. In 2014, Israel completed the construction of a 242-km barrier along the shared border with Egypt, in an attempt to stop illegal labor migration from African countries into Israel.