JERUSALEM, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Israel has sent back to Egypt the body of an Egyptian police believed to have shot dead three Israeli soldiers at the border over the weekend, Israeli authorities said Monday.
The man, who opened fire at an Israeli military post and killed two Israeli soldiers in a guard post early Saturday morning, was identified by Egyptian authorities as 22-year-old Mohamed Salah from Cairo, an Israeli police spokesperson said in a statement.
The rare incident occurred on the Sinai border between Israel and Egypt near Mount Harif in the Negev Desert. After fatally shooting the two soldiers, the Egyptian was killed in a second exchange of fire in which a third Israeli soldier was killed, according to Israeli military.
Later in the day, Egypt's Defense Minister Mohamed Zaki held a phone talk with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant to extend condolences on victims from both sides, during which they also touch upon taking necessary measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents, the Egyptian state-run Ahram Online news website reported.
In a separate statement, Egyptian armed forces spokesman Gharib Abdel-Hafez Gharib said they were killed in an exchange of fire as the Egyptian personnel chased drug smugglers across the border.