smuggling tunnel renovation 248.88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Egyptian authorities rescued three Palestinians trapped for five days in a smuggling tunnel beneath the Gaza border that was bombed by Israeli warplanes, officials said Saturday.
Palestinian security officials said the accidental collapse of another border tunnel on Saturday left two people dead and four missing.
Rescuers used heavy machinery to dig the three survivors out of a tunnel hit by Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday along the Egyptian-Gaza border. Since its three-week war against Hamas rulers earlier this year, the IAF has continued to carry out such attacks to prevent terrorists from smuggling weapons into the territory.
Palestinians also use the tunnels to bring food, clothing, fuel and even livestock into the impoverished Gaza Strip, which has been sealed off for nearly two years.
The three survivors were located with the help of maps from smugglers familiar with the elaborate network of tunnels, the Egyptian official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The three were apprehended and were being questioned, the official said. They were in weak condition when first rescued, he said without giving details.
Besides IAF strikes, deadly tunnel collapses have become frequent as result of accidents. More than 20 people have been killed in such accidents this year.
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