Hamas: Egypt gasses 4 smugglers

Official: This a "terrible crime" against simple Palestinian workers.

April 29, 2010 08:23
1 minute read.
Hamas: Egypt gasses 4 smugglers

Gaza smuggling tunnel rubble 248.88. (photo credit: )

GAZA CITY — Egyptian forces pumped gas into a cross-border tunnel used to smuggle goods into the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, killing four Palestinians, Hamas officials said.

The Hamas Interior Ministry later said in a statement the gas used to try to clear the tunnel was poisonous. Besides those killed, six people were injured, it said.

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"This is a terrible crime committed by Egyptian security against simple Palestinian workers who were trying to earn their daily bread," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum to The Associated Press. "It was a killing in cold blood. Hamas and all the Palestinian people condemn it strongly."

"We demand that Egypt explain its position about what is happening and investigate the circumstances of this terrible crime and show the truth to the entire world and hold those responsible accountable," he said.

Hamas reopens smuggling tunnels

The United States and Israel have been pushing Egypt to do more to try to close the tunnels, which provide Hamas with a lifeline helping it to stay in power in Gaza. Weapons and other contraband regularly move through the tunnels.

The officials say the Egyptian measures have led to a sharp slowdown in tunnel traffic in recent months, pinching the local economy.

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