Gaza Strip: 2 dead in tunnel collapse

Victims aged 18, 20; Egypt opens border to allow hundreds of Muslim pilgrims to travel to Mecca.

September 12, 2009 16:35
Gaza Strip: 2 dead in tunnel collapse

Gaza tunnel kid 248.88 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])


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Two tunnels used for smuggling goods from Egypt into Gaza collapsed on Saturday, killing two people. The two victims were 18 and 20 years old, according to Dr. Moawiya Hassanain, a Palestinian health official. Gaza smugglers operate dozens of underground tunnels to haul in everything from motorcycles and cement to cows and chocolates. Many goods are scarce since Israel and Egypt clamped a blockade on Gaza following the violent Hamas takeover of the territory in June 2007. The local human rights group Mezan says 107 tunnel workers have died in accidents since then, most of them young men. In other developments, Egypt opened its border crossing with Gaza on Saturday to allow hundreds of Muslim pilgrims to travel to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Hamas officials said the crossing is to remain open for four days.

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