Egypt's Al-Ouga border crossing with Israel re-opened to commercial traffic

Ahram Online, Monday 20 May 2013

Striking Egyptian security personnel, protesting last Thursday's kidnappings in Sinai, temporarily allow passage of goods through Al-Ouga border crossing with Israel

Egypt's Al-Ouga border crossing with Israel has been opened to commercial traffic after having been temporarily blocked by striking security personnel, according to an official source cited by Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website on Monday.

On Sunday, Egyptian security forces at the crossing had declared a strike to protest last Thursday's kidnapping of seven security officers in the Sinai Peninsula. The strike temporarily halted the passage of goods through the crossing.

According to the official source cited by Al-Ahram, striking conscripts on Monday were convinced to allow goods to pass through the Al-Ouga crossing.

Meanwhile, for the fourth consecutive day, Egyptian security forces continued to block Egypt's Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip.

The protest began on Friday, when security personnel hung barbed wire across the border crossing and chained the gates.

Conscripts from Egypt's Central Security Forces at five North Sinai police stations also joined the strike action on Monday, with dozens of conscripts halting work in Sinai's El-Hasna, Beir Abd, Nakhl, Sheikh Zuwaid and Al-Arish.

Last Thursday, seven Egyptian soldiers were kidnapped in the Sinai Peninsula; one from the army, four from port security, and two from State Security. All seven are aged between 19 and 20.

President Mohamed Morsi's office released a statement late Sunday vowing to secure the release of the soldiers "swiftly and safely."

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