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Egypt Police Block Gaza Convoy, Arrest Activists


Egyptian police have blocked a convoy of opposition activists from taking medical supplies to the Gaza Strip.

Security sources and activists say police arrested at least 30 activists in raids at several locations, including in downtown Cairo and in the town of Rafah, on the Gaza/Egypt border.

The group included leftist activists, members of the Kefaya pro-democracy group and members of the banned but influential Muslim Brotherhood. Police arrested most of them as they gathered outside the Press Syndicate in downtown Cairo ahead of a planned 300-kilometer journey to the border.

Police are also reported to have detained journalists covering the event and deleted their photos.

The convoy organizers intended to take medical supplies to the blockaded Gaza Strip as well as protest the ongoing blockade that has isolated the territory since last year.

Israel sealed off Gaza after Hamas seized power there in June, 2007. Egypt has also kept the Rafah border post largely closed since then. It is the only way in or out of Gaza that is not controlled by Israel.

Sympathy for the residents of Gaza runs high in the Egyptian public, but the government has resisted calls to open the border post.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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