CAIRO, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Bedouins in the Sinai have been removing organs from African refugees trying to get to Israel and dumping their bodies, CNN reported Thursday.
A leader of the Sawarka tribe interviewed by the U.S. news network said rogue members of the tribe are responsible.
CNN is scheduled to air a special report, "Death in the Desert," this weekend.
Two human rights groups, the New Generation Foundation for Human Rights and the EveryOne Group, gave CNN photographs of bodies with scars that suggested the removal of kidneys or livers.
Hamdy al-Azazzy of New Generation said he believes the organ trade is carried out with the cooperation of Cairo doctors who, in some cases, even select the candidates for organ removal.
"Mobile clinics using advanced technology come from a private hospital in Cairo to an area in the deserts of mid-Sinai and conduct physicals on the Africans before they choose those suitable, then they conduct the operation," al-Azazzy said.
Dr. Fakhry Saleh of Cairo, who headed an investigation into the illegal organ trade in Egypt, said he has not heard of organs taken from refugees. But he said photographs supplied by al-Azazzy appeared to show corpses with their organs removed.
"Organ trade is the second most-profitable trade behind only weapons trade," he said. "It brings in more money than drug dealing and prostitution."