Egypt-trained Fatah forces cross into Gaza

May 16, 2007 18:28

After two months of training in Egypt, some 500 Palestinian security forces affiliated with the Fatah faction returned Wednesday to Gaza through the Rafah border crossing point, security officials said. The troops came to Egypt in mid-March for training at an Egyptian police camp in the northern Mediterranean city of Alexandria, an Egyptian security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. The forces were trained in the use of automatic rifles, curbing riots and on tactics of street battle control, according to the official. Hani Jabbour, a Palestinian official at the Rafah border checkpoint, said the Fatah troops drove through in police buses and were unarmed. Maria Telleria, spokeswoman for the European monitors, said the troops numbered 450 Palestinian members of the presidential guard. The discrepancy in the numbers could not immediately be reconciled.

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