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3 EGYPTIAN POLICE SLAIN IN ERROR BY ISRAELIS

Israeli troops killed three Egyptian policemen mistaken for Palestinian militants along the Gaza-Egypt border early today, in what the army called a "professional and operational" mishap.

Israel immediately apologized and opened an investigation into the incident, which threatens to increase tensions between the two countries.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to express his "deepest apologies" for the incident. In a statement released by his office, Sharon promised a quick investigation, and pledged to share the results with Egypt.

Israeli army officials also apologized.

Egypt's foreign minister issued a statement condemning the shooting, indicating his government was not placated by Sharon's apology.

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