A Canadian man "of Jewish Israeli descent" has been shot dead during a robbery in the Egyptian city of Alexandria and authorities are investigating the incident as a criminal case, a security source said late on Tuesday.

The security source told Reuters the man had been killed "with the motive of robbery". The source made no link between the shooting and the dead man's ethnic background.

The interior ministry confirmed the shooting and said the man had been a permanent resident of Egypt. Neither the ministry nor the source gave any further details.

A statement claiming the killing by a previously unknown group called "Liberation Vanguards" was circulating on social media, but security sources said they had no information on the existence of such a group or whether it had been involved in the incident.

The shooting happened on Tuesday as Israeli forces seized the main border crossing between Gaza and Egypt in Rafah, where more than one million displaced Palestinians have sought shelter during Israel's seven-month-old offensive.

One day after the war in Gaza began last October following an attack by Hamas militants on southern Israel, two Israeli tourists and their Egyptian guide were shot dead in Alexandria, in the first such attack on Israelis in Egypt in decades.

A policeman who said he had "lost control" was placed in custody regarding that incident.


(Reporting by Enas Alashray and Ahmed Mohamed Hassan Editing by Gareth Jones)