Tue May 6, 2008 2:29am EDT
ISMAILIA, Egypt, May 6 (Reuters) - Egyptian police shot dead a Nigerian migrant and wounded four Sudanese who tried to slip across the desert border into Israel on Tuesday, security sources said.
The death of the 25-year-old Nigerian man, who was shot in the neck, brings the number of migrants killed in escalating violence at the border this year to 12. Scores of others, mostly from Africa, have been detained.
The wounded Sudanese migrants include an 18-year-old woman who was shot in the abdomen and three Sudanese men ages 25 to 32, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"Egyptian police opened fire on a group of Africans who were trying to enter Israeli territory over a border point between Egypt and Israel, and who refused to listen to orders to stop and tried to flee toward Israel," one of the sources said.
London-based rights group Amnesty International says thousands of migrants try to cross into the Jewish state from Egypt's Sinai peninsula each year, with numbers rising since 2007.
New arrivals surged last year after Israel granted temporary work permits to around 2,000 Eritreans.
The migrants, including many from Sudan, are seeking work or asylum away from conflict at home and harsh living conditions in Egypt, where activists say African migrants face economic marginalisation and racism.
Amnesty has called for an investigation into the border killings and says Israel has pressed Egypt to reduce the flow of people crossing illegally.
(Reporting by Yusri Mohamed; Writing by Cynthia Johnston; Editing by Charles Dick)