Egyptian security officials say six Sudanese migrants were killed and 17 wounded during a gun battle between Egyptian security forces and smugglers as they tried to illegally enter Israel from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

The officials said Monday that smugglers transferred the migrants in pick-up trucks and dropped them off close to the border south of the town of Rafah before firing at border forces to allow the migrants to cross into Israel.

The smugglers then fled, leaving the dead and wounded migrants, who were taken to Rafah hospital for treatment. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Last week 15 Sudanese were killed and eight wounded trying to illegally cross into Israel.