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Egypt frees Hamas group into Gaza

CAIRO, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Egypt allowed 85 senior members of Hamas to enter the Gaza Strip on Monday in exchange for handing over a wanted al-Qaida leader.

The Palestinian news agency Ma'an didn't identify the al-Qaida suspect but said he was believed responsible for a series of bomb attacks in the Egyptian city of Assiut.

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The Egyptian government had refused to let the Hamas members to cross into Gaza, which trapped them in Egypt, as they were afraid of being arrested if they crossed anywhere Israeli forces guard the border, Ynetnews reported.

Among those who were allowed to leave were Mushir al-Masri, the head of the Hamas faction in the Palestinian Legislative Council, and former Interior Minister Taled al-Qawasmeh, Ma'an reported.

Ynetnews said more than 1,000 Palestinians are camped in Egypt along the Gaza border unable to return through the Israeli-guarded crossings.

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