From: Reuters
Published January 31, 2008 08:17 AM

Blast heard near Egypt-Israel border was gunfire

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian security sources reported hearing an explosion on Thursday near the Kerem Shalom border crossing between Israel, Egypt and Gaza, but later said they had determined the sound was gunfire.

An Israeli army spokesman said he was not aware of a blast in the area, and an Israeli police spokesman was checking the report.

Egyptian security sources said the gunfire was on either the Gaza or Israel side of the border. Witnesses at the Rafah border area reported a shot being fired there because of the large crowd. It was unclear who fired the shot, and there were no reports of casualties.

Egypt had earlier sealed off roads near the Gaza-Egypt border, and there was no immediate access to the Kerem Shalom crossing from the Egyptian side.

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Palestinian militants blasted open the border with Egypt last week in defiance of an Israeli-led blockade, allowing tens of thousands of Palestinians to flood into Egyptian territory.

(Reporting by Yusri Mohamed in Ismailia, additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi, writing by Cynthia Johnston)

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