CAIRO: An Egyptian soldier was killed in an accident on the border near Rafah after he was run over by an armored vehicle Sunday, according to official reports.
Central Security forces soldier Yehia Shawqi Al-Sayed, 22, was killed when he was run over by a police armored vehicle in Al-Ahrash area near Rafah and on the Egypt-Gaza border. He was pronounced dead after being transported to Al-Arish Hospital in North Sinai.
According to the official report, the armored vehicle Al-Sayed was traveling in broke down while patrolling the border in Al-Ahrash. Another armored vehicle came to the scene to pull the first one.
The cable used to tow the truck snapped while Al-Sayed was on top of the vehicle and he fell. At the same time the vehicle in front reversed as it was going up a hill and ran over Al-Sayed underneath.
However, a source in Sinai told Daily News Egypt that many in the area were speculating that Al-Sayed had died after a run-in with smugglers on the border, a common enough occurrence in that area. However, there were no substantive corroborative statements of this scenario.
Border patrols often exchange gunfire with smugglers they run into in the desert. Smuggling is common along the border, whether with Gaza or Israel. Last July a border guard was injured in a shootout with smugglers 21 km south of Rafah along the border with Israel.
Additionally, shootouts between state security forces and Bedouins within Sinai also took place in the summer, as Bedouins continued their protests about their treatments at the hands of security forces in Sinai.
This was not the first time a Central Security soldier died in such an accident near the border. In September, during the Eid holiday, a soldier, Suleiman Reda Suleiman, 22, had gone to sleep under a police car at a checkpoint in Rafah. Another policeman unaware that anyone was underneath the vehicle, started the car and reversed over the sleeping soldier who died on the spot.