Egypt cops grab 52 migrants in Sinai

2011-12-26 22:05

Al-Arish - Egyptian border police have detained 52 African migrants in the past 24 hours after they attempted to cross into southern Israel from the Sinai Peninsula, security officials said on Monday.

Ten Africans migrants from Ethiopia and Sudan were arrested early on Monday in the central Sinai. The 42 others were arrested late on Sunday and are all being held in a prison in the Sinai town of al-Arish.

According to the security forces, each person had paid $1 200 to smugglers to help them reach Israel.

Every year hundreds of economic migrants and asylum seekers from Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Sudan attempt to cross into Israel via Egypt.

Human rights groups have accused Egyptian authorities of mistreating them and have denounced both Israel and Egypt for migration policies that violate human rights and international obligations to refugees.

More than 10 000 Africans entered Israel illegally in 2011, according to Israeli immigration authorities.

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