Egyptian soldiers killed four Sudanese refugees, beating two to death in front of horrified Israeli soldiers, an Israeli TV station reported Thursday, screening what it said was army surveillance video and interviews with the soldiers.
Egyptian police said that authorities arrested two Sudanese refugees Thursday, seriously injuring one when he scuffled with police. But Egyptian police Capt. Mohammed Badr did not report any deaths.
Channel 10 TV said the incident happened late Wednesday night. In the video, the refugees are seen running toward the border with Israel. Then, according to one of the soldiers, who was not identified and whose voice was distorted, Egyptian soldiers opened fire, killing two.
The other two tried to climb the border fence but were tackled by Egyptian soldiers, the TV report said.
Israeli soldiers were sent to the scene to try to help the refugees, and at one point they got into a tug-or-war with the Egyptians, each side holding on to the Sudanese.
"We pulled one way they pulled another, they pointed their guns at us," said one of the soldiers. He said the Israelis let go for fear that the Egyptians would fire at them.
Then the Israeli soldiers said they watched helplessly as the Egyptians passed the two refugees from one to the other, beating them. "We saw them gang up on them and beat them on the ground until they stopped moving," said one soldier.
"They killed two men with their own hands and sticks and rocks," he said. "We heard them crying and screeching in pain until they died."
The Israeli military said it was looking into the incident. There was no confirmation from Egypt of any
refugees being killed.
Hundreds of Sudanese refugees, many from the war-wracked Darfur region, have crossed the desert border from Egypt into Israel in recent months.
Last month, Egyptian border guards shot and killed a Sudanese woman and wounded four others. She was the first Sudanese refugee to be killed.