Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Palestinian gunmen storm Egypt's border, killing two.

Middle East: The Gaza turning into its own state peacefully is turning out well.

Deaths as gunmen storm Egypt border Hundreds of Palestinians flooded into Egypt and two Egyptian soldiers were killed as militants broke through a Gaza border wall with bulldozers and seized control of government buildings. Two Egyptian soldiers were killed and 27 wounded by gunfire, Egyptian officials said. The soldiers withdrew because they had no orders to fire at the rampaging Palestinians, an officer said. In a blatant challenge to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' authority, the armed men, linked to Abbas's own Fatah Party, demanded the release of their leader, who is being held over the kidnapping of three Britons. The rampage through the southern Gaza town of Rafah highlights the growing lawlessness in Palestinian towns, especially in Gaza. Mr Abbas, who has condemned the chaos, has been unable to impose order, and his failure to keep the gunmen in check is expected to harm Fatah's prospects in the January 25 parliamentary elections. Fatah-affiliated vigilantes demanding government jobs or the release of imprisoned friends have been responsible for much of the anarchy, particularly since Israel's pullout from Gaza in September.

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