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African migrants 'tortured in Sinai'

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Published on Jul 8, 2012

Egyptian border control officers have arrested 68 African migrants trying to cross into Israel.

Many other migrants travelling through the Sinai region are picked up by Bedouin gangs, who are smuggling people, drugs and weapons into the peninsula.

Ake Mehari, a migrant from Eritrea, told Al Jazeera: "They drove us to Sinai. They tortured me because I could not pay the money.

"Then they started beating me. I begged for mercy, but the traffickers wouldn't listen. They just wanted the money."

Mehari and his fellow travellers were dreaming of a better future after escaping compulsory military service in Eritrea.

They say they would never have embarked on the journey if they had known how it would end.

Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland has this exclusive report from northern Sinai.

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