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US border agent fatally shot migrant at border with Mexico

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A US border patrol agent looks out over Tijuana, Mexico from the US Mexico border wall in San Diego, California. (File photo)

A US border patrol agent fatally shot a migrant, who was trying to cross the US-Mexico border into Arizona, over the weekend.

Authorities announced on Wednesday that a man, whose identity and country of origin has not been released, was killed in a shooting on East Geronimo Trail on Saturday.

“Early indications are that one male subject, presumed to be an illegal immigrant, was fatally wounded by a Border Patrol agent who was on duty with additional personnel,” said a statement from the local sheriff’s office.

An autopsy confirmed the cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds, according to local authorities.

The local Mexican consulate said it had been informed of the shooting, which was of “great concern.”

US Customs and Border Protection said the agent “discharged his firearm” while taking the man into custody but didn’t describe the circumstances of the confrontation further.

Scores of asylum seekers, who hail mainly from Central America and face violence and poverty in their home countries, have been crossing into Mexico in a bid to make their way into the United States.

Many of them end up being victims of Mexican drug cartels that are involved in human trafficking. Many others have also been victims of “shocking abuse” at the hands of US border agents.

Human Rights Watch said late last year that US asylum officers have documented more than 160 instances of sexual and physical abuse of migrants by the agents since 2016.

The documents, it said, “paint a picture of DHS as an agency that appears to have normalized shocking abuses at the US border.”

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