Hamas inmates flees Egypt jail, return to Gaza

Last Updated: Sunday, January 30, 2011 - 20:53

Gaza City: Two out
of eight Hamas prisoners who broke out of a Cairo prison as a
wave of anti-government protests swept Egypt arrived back in
Gaza on Sunday, an official source said.

A senior official in the Hamas government confirmed all
eight were on their way back to Gaza, with the report also
confirmed by one of the escapees.

By today morning, at least two of the prisoners who had
been held in Abu Zaabal prison, northeast of Cairo, had made
it back to Gaza, entering the strip through the tunnels which
run under the border, a Palestinian official said on condition
of anonymity.

They made their escape when thousands broke free from
jails across Egypt as officials struggled to control the wave
of chaos sparked by nationwide riots demanding the end of the
regime of President Hosni Mubarak.

Among those who arrived back in Gaza on Sunday was
Mohamed al-Shaer, a big name in the cross-border smuggling
enterprise, who was arrested in Egypt six months ago after
completing the haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Shaer entered Gaza through the tunnels, witnesses said.

Several hours later, a second prisoner, Hassan Wishah
also made his way through the tunnels to El Bourej camp in
central Gaza. He had served three years of a 10-year sentence
at the Cairo jail for unspecified security offences.

"All the Palestinian prisoners escaped from Abu Zaabal,"
Wishah said.

The remaining six prisoners were said to have reached the
port city of Al Arish and were expected to reach Gaza later on
Sunday, official sources said.

More than 100 people have so far been killed in Egypt
which is being rocked by the biggest protests to sweep the
country in more than 30 years.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, January 30, 2011 - 20:53

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