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Bedouin man dies in apparent rocket strike on Israeli-Egyptian border

From Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, for CNN
August 27, 2012 -- Updated 1406 GMT (2206 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The incident happened on the Egyptian-Israeli border
  • An Egyptian intelligence source says the rocket apparently came from a drone
  • A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said the IDF was unaware of the incident

(CNN) -- A Bedouin man was killed by an apparent rocket strike on the Israeli-Egyptian border Sunday, family members and security officials told CNN.

"A heavily bearded Bedouin man driving a motorbike was killed by an airstrike around 11 a.m. in the small town of Al Kheriza," said Ibrahim Menei, a Bedouin tribal leader who lives close to the border. "There was no evidence of a helicopter gunship."

An Egyptian intelligence source confirmed the incident, saying, "The conclusion after the investigation is that a drone from across the border had fired a rocket and killed the Bedouin."

A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said the IDF was unaware of the incident.

Egyptian soldiers shot dead at checkpoint

The Egyptian intelligence source told CNN that the man had been among many people arrested and questioned in connection with an attack earlier this month in Rafah that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers, but had been released.

An uncle of the victim -- identified as Ibrahim Owida Nasser Madan, 30, who lived about 10 kilometers (about 6.2 miles) from the Israeli border -- confirmed the death of his nephew.

"Ibrahim was struck by a rocket and killed not too far away from me, close to his home," said Mohamed Madan. "I heard a strange noise echo in the sky, it was not a helicopter."

Madan said his nephew had been driving through their olive plantation on his way to get water for irrigation, and was not armed. He blamed his nephew's death on Israel, and he and others in the area said the Israeli-operated mobile phone network used by local residents had gone out of service shortly before the incident.

CNN could not confirm that claim.

"There is a deep hole in ground where the attack took place. We will not remain silent and will take to the streets to protest this attack," Madan said.

Gen. Ahmed Bakr, head of north Sinai security, told CNN an investigating committee has visited the site of the incident.

CNN's Guy Azriel contributed to this report.

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