Egyptian security officials say that border guards have arrested 68 Eritreans and Ethiopians trying to illegally cross the border into Israel.
The 47 people from Eritrea and 21 from Ethiopia were seized late on July 7 by an Egyptian patrol after the group was trying to get past the barbed wire that marks the border.
The detainees are said to have told the border guards that they had each paid around $1,000 to human traffickers, who managed to escape, for passage into the Jewish state.
The Egypt-Israel border has become a major transit route for economic migrants, asylum-seekers, and drug-smugglers-- prompting Israel to urge its neighbor to crack down on the traffic.
Egyptian guards often shoot at African migrants who attempt to enter Israel illegally, with many being killed as a result.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP