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Palestinian killed in Gaza smuggling tunnel collapse
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19:58, September 25, 2009

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A Palestinian was killed and two others injured on Friday in a smuggling tunnel which collapsed under the borderline between southern Gaza Strip and Egypt, medics and witnesses said.

Gaza emergency chief Mo'aweya Hassanein said the tunnel collapsed when local worker Bassam Mobarak, 21, who was killed and two others were entering the tunnel.

Residents of the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah said immediately after the tunnel collapsed, rescue teams rushed to the area, and managed to pull out three workers, one of which died of suffocation.

Israel imposed a tight blockade on the impoverished salient after Islamic Hamas movement seized control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007. Many basic products were not allowed into Gaza except humanitarian aids.

The Palestinians, thus, dug hundreds of tunnels under the borderline between the Gaza Strip and Egypt to smuggle the products and the basic need into the coastal enclave, home to some1.4 million residents.

The residents said the tunnel collapsed three days after Israeli war jets bombarded the tunnels area with three rockets in response to homemade rockets launched from the Gaza Strip at Israel.

Gaza-based human rights groups said since the beginning of the tight Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, more than 120 local workers were killed in tunnels that collapsed on their heads.

Source: Xinhua

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