Egyptian authorities released Sunday a group of 34 Palestinians imprisoned here after Hamas blew open the Gaza-Egypt border in January and Gazans crossed en masse for a week into Egypt, an Egyptian security official said. An unknown number of Palestinians had been detained after crossing the frontier into Egypt. Egyptian officials say they were carrying weapons or other military contraband, and some were said to be members of the militant Hamas which controls the Mediterranean strip. Earlier Sunday, Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha said he expected the prisoners to be freed in the course of the day. After their release, the group was getting ready to cross back into Gaza at the Rafah crossing point, said the Egyptian official, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to media. Egypt, like Israel, sealed its frontier with Gaza after Hamas seized control of the Mediterranean area last June. The border breach allowed hundreds of thousands of Gazans to flood into Egypt and restock on supplies badly needed amid a tightened Israeli siege on Gaza in retaliation for Hamas' persistent lobbying of rockets into the Jewish state.