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Arizona border agent shoots, kills man suspected of illegal crossing

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man suspected of illegally crossing the border into southern Arizona from Mexico after the two were involved in a physical altercation, authorities said on Tuesday.

The unidentified man was killed on Sunday by the border agent about 12 miles north of Sasabe, Arizona, the border patrol said in a statement.

Sasabe is 182 miles south of Phoenix and just north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Border patrol officials said agents in the area shortly after midday came upon a group of people believed to have crossed the border into Arizona illegally.

"During the encounter, the agent discharged his service-issued weapon, resulting in the death of one of the individuals," the border patrol said, adding that the agents apprehended six other people in the incident.

The FBI is probing the incident along with local police, said Manuel Johnson, an FBI spokesman in Phoenix.

The fatal shooting came nearly two months after a 16-year-old youth was killed by an agent who opened fire across the border into Mexico from Arizona.

Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was shot dead on October 10 when a border patrol agent opened fire on a group of rock throwers in Mexico. FBI investigators are also probing that shooting.

(Editing by Mary Slosson and Christopher Wilson)

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