Three Israeli soldiers were killed in a gunbattle along the Egyptian border, involving an Egyptian police officer.
The incident: The conflict began overnight when soldiers thwarted a drug-smuggling attempt across the border.
* Hours later, two soldiers were found dead after they did not respond to radio communication.
* The Egyptian police officer was killed in a second exchange of fire, where a third soldier was also killed.
Background: This was the first deadly exchange of fire along the Israel-Egypt border in over a decade.
* Criminals sometimes smuggle drugs across the border, and Islamic militant groups are active in Egypt’s north Sinai.
* Israel and Egypt signed a peace agreement in 1979 and maintain close security ties, with fighting along their shared border being rare.
Investigation: The Israeli military is conducting an investigation in cooperation with the Egyptian army and searching for other possible assailants.
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