Work begins on Egypt barrier

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The Independent Online

Israeli bulldozers began laying the groundwork yesterday for construction of a barrier to seal off part of the Jewish state's border with Egypt, the Defence Ministry said.

Israel says it wants to stop illegal migrants from Africa entering via Egypt's Sinai desert, and to block the smuggling of drugs and weapons.

The desolate Sinai is used as a transit route by African migrants, usually guided for a price by local Bedouin.

Egyptian border troops have shot dead at least 28 migrants this year.