Sixteen Russians and Moldovans who killed the Egyptian smuggler who was going to help slip them across the border into Israel have been detained in Egypt, a security official said on Sunday.
Some of the would-be migrants attacked and fatally stabbed smuggler Massud Salim, 31, after he attempted to rape one of the female members of the group, the official said.
The group of 12 men and four women then handed themselves over to Egyptian police, fearing they might face a revenge attack from Salims family, the official added.
The migrants had paid Massud Salim around $1,000 each to take them into Israel where they were going to look for employment, they told police during questioning.
On Friday, Egyptian police shot and killed a Sudanese man as he tried to cross the porous border into Israel, raising to 31 the number of migrants killed on the border since the beginning of the year 26 of them by Egyptian police.
The border has become a major trafficking route for African migrants seeking jobs and for eastern European women headed for the sex trade.