Egyptian police block Gaza crossing again- UPDATED

The protest began on Friday when police strung barbed wire across the Rafah border post and chained up the gates

Egyptian police block Gaza crossing again- UPDATED

World Bulletin/News Desk

Egyptian police angered by the kidnapping of seven colleagues by gunmen kept a crossing into the Gaza Strip closed again on Saturday, stranding hundreds of Palestinian travellers, witnesses said.

The protest began on Friday when police strung barbed wire across the Rafah border post and chained up the gates, local residents said, a day after the abductions.

Gunmen demanding the release of jailed militants had seized seven policemen and soldiers on a road between the Sinai towns of el-Arish and Rafah. Three of those abducted had worked at the Rafah border crossing, locals said.

"We will not open the crossing until the kidnapped soldiers are freed and the interior minister arrives to listen to our demands so that these attacks on us are not repeated," one of the protesting policemen said on Saturday.

The protesting policemen called on President Mohamed Mursi to help free their colleagues.

The kidnappers have already released one policeman, security sources said. They had no word on the seven remaining hostages.

A spokesman for the Palestinian Hamas movement, which runs the Gaza Strip, criticised the Egyptian police action and said contacts were under way to resolve the standoff.

"There are promises to follow up on the matter, but in spite of these promises the suffering is still building up. We consider the continued closure of the crossing unjustified and incomprehensible," Sami Abu Zuhri told Al Jazeera television.

Last Mod: 18 Mayıs 2013, 14:14
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