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Curfew imposed on Egypt-Gaza border town of Rafah: report
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19:00, July 20, 2007

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A curfew has been imposed on the Egyptian side of the border town of Rafah due to possible unrest in the crossing terminal between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, The Daily Star Egypt newspaper reported Friday.

The indefinite curfew came into effect on Thursday following unconfirmed reports that Palestinians stranded on the Egyptian side of the border town may cross the Egypt-Gaza border to return home by the help of Palestinian militants, who was said to plan to blow up a border wall, the report quoted a police official as saying.

Thousands of police and security forces have been deployed at Rafah and roads leading to the town were sealed off, said the official on condition of anonymity, adding stores and eateries at the town were also ordered to close.

However, there is no immediate official confirmation about the curfew up to now.

A Friday report by The Egyptian Gazette said that hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated Thursday on the Gaza side of Rafah border crossing in sympathy with the Palestinians stranded in Egypt, but adding the life in the Egyptian side of Rafah was normal and unaffected by the protests.

Some 6,000 Palestinians have been reportedly stranded on the Egyptian side of the crossing for more than 40 days since the Rafah border terminal was closed on June 9, waiting for the reopening of the terminal to return to Gaza.

All crossing points in Gaza, including Rafah border crossing, have been closed since the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) seized control of Gaza in mid June.

Egyptian cabinet spokesman Magdi Radi has said that his country had offered all services to the Palestinians stranded on the Egyptian side of Rafah crossing.

Source: Xinhua

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