Egypt police shoot two Africans at Israel border

ISMAILIA, Egypt, April 20 (Reuters) - Egyptian police shot and wounded two migrants from Mali and Kenya who tried to slip over Egypt's desert frontier into Israel on Sunday, security sources said.

Escalating police violence at the Egypt-Israel border has left 11 migrants dead since the start of the year, while scores of others, mostly from Africa, have been detained. Police killed an Eritrean migrant at the border on Thursday.

"The Egyptian police were obliged to fire on two Africans while they were attempting to sneak into Israel via a border point south of Rafah after they refused orders to stop and tried to flee toward Israel," one Egyptian security source said.

The sources, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, said the migrants were both men in their twenties.

London-based rights group Amnesty International says thousands of migrants try to cross into the Jewish state from Egypt's Sinai peninsula each year, with numbers rising since 2007.

The migrants, including many from Sudan and a growing number from Eritrea, are seeking work or asylum away from conflict at home and harsh living conditions in Egypt, where activists say African migrants face economic marginalisation and racism.

Amnesty has called for an investigation into the border killings and says Israel has pressed Egypt to reduce the flow of people crossing illegally. (Writing by Cynthia Johnston, editing by Aziz El-Kaissouni and Mary Gabriel)

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